Slide1In airline flight, as in life, no runway will compensate for coming up short. And Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was 1,000 feet (400 meters) short of the normal landing spot before crashing.  Conversely, on January 15, 2009 US Airways pilots executed a dramatic emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 150 passengers and five crewmembers aboard Flight 1549.

The point is that ach of us has the power to transform many lives.  We are very interconnected.

On any given day, any of us could be assaulted, experience family breakups, suffer abuse, become homeless, lose our jobs, over materialize life or simply cannot seem to find a sense of spirituality. Conversely, we could be saved, given a life saving drug, stop briefly talk to a janitor and miss a disaster. We could babysit for a mother and give inspiration that will ultimately cure cancer. Someone’s daughter could revolutionize a way to feed the poor. Someone’s son could finally negotiate peace in a war torn area of the world.

Each and every day all of us make tens of thousands of decisions that impact the very nature of our very personal existence. All of us are responsible for how we succeed, live and prosper. Whether walking to work, whether eating a piece of fruit or whether we excel or fall back into a depth of misery so bleak that few rise from.

As Buddhists, what are we doing to help the world around us? In spite of all the difficulties out there, what new ways are we finding to help one another? Are we using our technology to come together or to find ways to separate? Does our faith transform or divide? Can we reach beyond our own mundane world and transform a generation in Africa, Calcutta, Chicago, Cleveland or the family down the street?

When the day started, I presume neither the crew of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 or US Airways Flight 1549 expected to have much impact on anyone. Yet, even in the most difficult of times, each flight crew saved hundreds of lives.

As we speak, one in five children still live in poverty; one of three children do not have health care coverage; roughly 17,386 people have died from guns in the United States since the Newtown shootings. Children in every social stratum suffer from abuse, neglect, and preventable emotional problems.

What is it that we do today…today…that will save hundreds of lives? Whom can you transform … today?