Today, Therese and I finished reading a biography of George Washington Carver. I'm sure I had read his story as a child, but as with many things in life, as an adult I now have a much deeper appreciation for this extraordinary man and his contribution to the world.
George Washington Carver changed the world as he taught poor black farmers how to grow better crops, and made it possible for many young black people to be educated at time that wasn't possible. He added beauty to the world through his art and his kindness to plants and people.
One thing that just struck me about his story, was it's traumatic beginning. Infant George and his mother, Mary, were captured by slave hunters. Their owners tried to everything they could to find Mary because they loved her and desired to set her free. She was not found, but baby George was! The Carver family raised George as their own son. George moved throughout his life in pursuit of his education, and along the way kept finding other families who loved him and nurtured him along his path to greatness.
Today, throughout Africa, many children are abandoned, left to die in a field because of the circumstances of their birth. Few of these children will be found, and placed in orphanages. Most will die alone.
What if the Carver's hadn't persisted to find Mary and her baby? What if they had decided it was too inconvenient? What if they didn't spend the money to pay the rider?
There are George Washington Carvers dying out there in the bush. There are George Washington Carvers languishing in orphanages around the world. They are in a America, stuck in a system that cripples them for life.
We need to go. We need to run after them.