The basketball courts lie, like high-value chips a giant might play, across the vast floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center. 400 teams, 4,000 players ages 9-19, at the Jam On It AAU Tournament. There are 12 or 15 thousand parents, coaches, refs, and siblings, the kids in uniforms, almost all of us in baggy shorts.
It’s overwhelming and I am, at first, a bit huffy about it. Wondering why my son needs to fly to another state to play, remembering going every day to the park for pick-up games.
But it grows on me. The kids are black, brown, yellow, white, wealthy and working class, and there are almost as many girls as boys, practicing cross-over dribbles, slapping hands. Very focused.
Financial stress can be one of the most painful and debilitating experiences— something with which many Americans have become intimately familiar.Often, when we are dealing with financial stress, we feel the dual burden of shame for having gotten where we are and a lack of control over how to get out.
“CMBM believes we have the ability to rebuild ourselves”. Take a minute to breathe with Jean Nervian Batichon – banana farmer, community leader, devoted son and part of our CMBM family in Jacmel. He shows us how CMBM helped him find the internal strength to care for himself and those he loves.
Kurt Andersen (“The Downside of Liberty,” New York Times.com, 7/4/12) writes that because of the “do your own thing” ethos of the 1960’s, “we are all shamelessly selfish.”
Anderson misreads the character and is insensitive to the spirit of those times, which my friends and I, and millions of other young people, lived through and were touched by. Doing our own thing was for most of us a quest for authenticity spurred by generous hopes for all and fulfilled in communal action.