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WHY I WANT THIS WORLD TO BE A BETTER PLACE (Speech for National Volunteer Week at Orlando City Hall 4/10/13)

April 11, 2013

About a month ago, I gave a short talk at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. That day, I said that the reason I willingly and without hesitation give so much of my time to the Holocaust Center is that I truly believe that this organization is changing the world. I believe that the Holocaust Center, through its education programs, interfaith programs and anti-bullying programs is making the world we live in a better place. It’s as simple as that. But for me, I don’t just want this world to be a better place. I need this world to be a better place. Because frankly, I’m tired of explaining to my three kids why an event as horrific as the Holocaust took place just two generations ago. And I’m tired of explaining to them why genocide has continued to take place in Syria and Bosnia and Rwanda and way too many places around the world. And I’m tired of explaining to them why innocent people are killed in movie theaters and elementary schools here in America. And I’m tired of explaining why people on TV, people who are supposed to be our leaders and role models, speak with such hate-filled language and treat their colleagues with such disrespect. And I’m tired of explaining to them why kids in their own schools torment and bully other kids who seem to be different. And I’m really tired of telling them that it’s their responsibility to stand up for these kids…when standing up is so incredibly hard. So, I guess, while I’m incredibly flattered that Joanie invited me here today to remind everyone why it’s so important that we volunteer our time to the causes that are important to us in our community, I must admit that what fuels my fire, what drives me to volunteer is…a pretty selfish desire. I want the world to be different for my kids. For my grandkids. For all of my family’s future generations. It’s that simple. And I bet it’s that simple for you too.

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