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Bob Levine: Life's about making a difference

SCV Voices

Posted: March 26, 2009 11:53 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Today, I reach the mid-century point of my life. This offers a great time to take stock and look back to see what I have done in my life to make a difference.

It's easy to look at my family with pride, but that really doesn't count. It's easy to see how my children have done wonderfully in the local schools and have grown into responsible adults. While it would be nice to take responsibility for that, I cannot. My children's victories are theirs and theirs alone. They worked hard in school and are working to make differences for good in their own lives and their communities.

Making a difference: Isn't that what life is all about?

For the past few years, I have been getting more and more involved in helping the local high school district in various ways.

Why? Look at my offspring. Without the schools of the William S. Hart Union High School District, I doubt my children would have come so far, so fast. I owe the district anything they need of me, and I will always give back to the district freely.

I want other parents to be able to feel the pride in their children that I feel in mine. By helping the district grow in positive directions, I feel I am making positive changes in my community and helping to make a difference in the lives of future generations in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Making a difference: Isn't that what life is all about?

I have also begun assisting the local and state organizations of the Democratic Party. Why? Because after 50 years of letting others carry the mantle for the causes I believe in and letting others do all the grunt work, I realize it's now my time carry my share of the load.

Being active in the causes of my choice takes work, sometimes hard work, and time. Sometimes it's very rewarding; sometimes not. Volunteer work like this has always allowed my creativity to bloom and compelled me to foster the volunteer spirit in others. It allows me to air my views and inspire others to air their views as well, to exercise our First Amendment rights and make a difference.

Making a difference: Isn't that what life is all about?

We are all here for a reason, and each one of us is slated to pass from the world at some unknown time.

Most of us are fated to die in anonymity, going to work day in and day out living our lives as most people have done for thousands of years - surviving, but not making much of a difference in the lives of others.

Some will die in infamy. They have made the wrong choices in life and created negative legacies for themselves, their families and their communities.

A very few will have led the life of the very famous. Most people know of them - the larger-than-life actors and elected officials of the world. It is very easy to see how their lives make it into the history books: some for good, some not for good.

After looking back on my first 50 years, I realize I chose another path many years ago. How could I have forgotten that even before achieving adulthood, I have always given of myself for one cause or another? I have chosen the path of the volunteer.

Taking a harder look, I can see how it has always been part of my life and always will be.

Horace Mann said, "Be afraid to die until you have won some victory for humanity."

When I die, I don't want to be famous, infamous or completely anonymous. I would just like it to be remembered that I helped to win a few small victories for humanity and that I made a difference.

Making a difference: Isn't that what life is all about?

Bob Levine is a Stevenson Ranch resident, member of the Hart district's Measure SA oversight committee and elected member of the California Democratic State Central Committee. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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