I had an original copy and read the first edition of Sophie’s Choice, William Styron’s opus, in 1979. I loaned it to someone but never got it back. I loved that book, and as I read it, I imagined Mash’s Loretta Swit as Sophie. I was distraught when the film came out in 1982 with Meryl Streep in the lead role, but after I watched the film, I knew that Ms. Streep was the perfect choice to play the Auschwitz survivor.
I was thinking about Sophie’s Choice as I lie in bed awake last night. As Styron told his story, upon arrival at Auschwitz, Sophie was forced to choose which one of her two children would be gassed and which would proceed to the labor camp. To avoid having both children killed, she chose her son, Jan, to be sent to the children’s camp, and her daughter, Eva, to be sent to her death. Can you imagine what it was like for Sophie to be faced with that choice? What her life must have been like after she made the choice?
Making a Choice
I have chosen to help a group of young boxers in Haiti who train 120 Haitian children – many homeless – and feed them four nights each week. It costs money, and my friends and I send funds to these young heroes to enable them to do what they do. Last week, they proposed a summer camp for 150 children, six days each week from 8AM until 2PM. Their intention is to keep the children productively active during their summer recess.
It costs money.
How much can I bear, I ask myself? How much can I ask my friends to bear? As I write this, we feed 120 children, four days each week at the kitchen we’ve set up in Cité Soleil, Haiti. What do you tell the 121st child who shows up at the kitchen? What do you tell the 122nd, the 123rd …. How can you choose not to help?
As my Haitian friend Justin wrote,
“We want to bring children and young people closer together through the implementation of certain socio-cultural and sports activity to give them the ability to fight for social cohesion so that they can live together in peace and tolerance.”
How can I tell my friend that we have no more money? How can I buy that six-pack of beer or that pack of cigarettes knowing that I could have fed 15 more kids or helped send them to camp?
He will call and ask for money to fund the camp. How can I tell him that we in America have no more money?
Sophie’s faced an impossible choice. We don’t. We can choose the easy, comfortable way, or we can choose to sacrifice.
Can You Help
If you can help us help these Haitians to help themselves, please click the donate button and donate what you can. Your donation is tax-exempt to the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation, which funds our work in Haiti.
Thank you for even considering to help.
We Are All Family