Who are the true patriots among us?

They were not even qualified to be there; many of them were bringing up the rear.
But on Monday, one thousand three hundred and fifty marathon runners in Boston set the pace, and a champion example of true patriotism, for the rest of us Americans. They ran their butts off for 26.2 miles so that others of lesser means can receive medical treatment for dire conditions.
Those runners  are leading the pack in our marathon effort for health care reform.
Everybody’s biggest problem in health care reform these days is that there’s not enough money to go around to pay all the bills. But today, $14 million was raised for patients who need special care.
That, my friends, is community service; that is true patriotism; that is getting off your couch potato ass to make a difference in the world.
That is a stellar–as in stars and stripes–example for the rest of us.

And that was my thought when I heard Robin Young, hostess of Here and Now, as she interviewed one of those Boston Marathon charity runners, Tom Kansas. He said,

“I just wanted to run the marathon; I needed a number somehow…I’m not fast enough to qualify, God knows. I’m a long way from that…so I’ll just raise some money for charity…with the American Liver  Foundation.”

So here’s a guy who, like me, perhaps like you, couldn’t quite qualify for the Big Dance, and yet he shows up for the main event with a mission.  But it happens that the mission in his mind–to just run the dam race–morphs to something far greater. He hangs around, hoping for a chance to run with the big dogs. Then, through willingness to take a lesser role, through persistence and perseverance and dedication to his craft–running–he gets his number in the most legendary race of all, and, as it turns out, make a positive contribution to the improvement of our human condition in the world.
Not bad for a day’s run.

That’s one marathon run for a man, one giant act of service for mankind.
–and an inspiration for the rest of us to strive for more than being couch potatoes in a nation that desperately needs help.

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