“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recently, mother nature once again made its presence felt in the form of Hurricane Matthew. Many states in the U.S. were hit hard and the island nation of Haiti was devastated. RAM founder, Stan Brock did not sit back and wait to see what was needed in the wake of the disaster; he acted.
There were clinics held in West Virginia and South Carolina to provide medical care to people trying to pick up the pieces from recent floods. There was also a 10-day expedition to Haiti to airdrop meals to starving villagers, who, if not for the efforts of Brock and a group of RAM volunteers, would most likely be dead. This is not to trumpet how great RAM is, far from that, it is to explain how RAM is more than just another organization.
Remote Area Medical is led by a man who wakes up every day thinking about humanity and how he can make it better. There are many other organizations providing relief efforts to Haiti. There is only one Stan Brock.
When I met my wife, her father used to talk about a man named Stan. Ronnie (my father-in-law) would speak of how he volunteered his time to assist in a mission to provide medical care to needy people. At the time it sounded like a noble cause, but I did not really understand just what all Stan’s organization did for people. Again, RAM is more than an organization, it is a group of people following one man into “battle” against the system. System? Yes, the system which tells someone who is in need of medical care, “No!” A system which seems to have the attitude of, all people should be able to help themselves and don’t deserve anything they don’t earn. Did the people of Haiti deserve what happened to them? Does a single mother who has three children deserve to have to decide between her own health or her children’s?
I know one thing, it’s easy to pass judgment on someone for not having the advantages you may have or to look down on someone who hasn’t excelled at life as much as you have. Some people are born into poverty and will never see the other end of that spectrum. People in Haiti already had very little prior to Hurricane Matthew and now they are rioting and fighting with each other over food. FOOD! The very same food many of us take for granted. They also are trying to rebuild tiny shacks so they have some form of shelter to feel secure and safe. This all while there are people who have millions of dollars with multiple homes in richer countries. Is this really how life is intended to play out? Are there really supposed to be a few living lavishly, while there are people starving and homeless?
Stan Brock is a man who has nothing, but has everything. He takes no pay and even donates his social security check to Remote Area Medical. However, he sees the people suffering in the world at home and abroad and makes it his business to help. It is almost November 8th and on November 9th, the United States will have a new president. It is up to debate if anything will change with new leadership. One thing not up for debate is there will still be many homeless veterans walking the streets of our country suffering from PTSD. There will be countless women and children living in poverty. There will be people fighting over which political side or view is the correct one for the future of our country. The president changes but our problems stay the same.
If the people of our country and the world would take a Stan Brock view on things, we might get this thing figured out. At our clinics, no one is refused care and it is free. If someone is in need a helping hand is lent to show love and appreciation that we are all in this battle together.
I have heard stories of clinics where people waited in frigid conditions just to get their teeth cleaned, but a group of complete strangers gather together and hold each other to warm one another. The American Dream is to “make it”, whatever that means, but most people feel you have “made it” when you are wealthy enough to never worry about money again. If Stan Brock “made it,” something tells me he would turn around and give it all to help the people who have not yet “made it.”
So this is why I say RAM is more than just an organization, it is a walking and talking humanitarian, his group of volunteers and employees attempting to show us how we need to treat each other.