Three Gifts from John X. Carey

Living in Interesting Times

Three Gifts from John X. Carey By Shirley Baugher

John X. Carey leaves three gifts under the Baugher Christmas tree

Who is John X. Carey, and why would he be sending you a gift—three gifts to be precise. Carey is a talented young video filenmmaker, and he wants to send his stories of love, commitment, and hope to the tire world. Here are the three packages he has put under my tree and that I pass along to you.

In the first package is the story of Dr. Jim Turbin.  Dr. Turbin was living what all of us would consider the good life with a successful practice in Coronado, California. But it was not good enough, not for him. Answering the cries of “unheard voices”, he established Project Concern and went to Africa where he offered medical care for some of the world’s neediest children.  One night, without even the most basic medical equipment, he treated two young patients with severe bronchial pneumonia. In another place, they would have been fighting for their lives in an intensive care unit. But they were not in another place. They were in poverty-stricken Zambia. With a tarp serving as a makeshift hospital and two chairs turned upside down to form an examining table, Dr. Turbin gave the children what he had—massive doses of penicillin. Over and over he heard John Donne’s words “every man’s death diminishes me”. They did not die.

There were other miracle workers in Zambia with Dr. Turbin, and they are part of his story. There was Regina, who took AIDS children into her classroom and, instead of penicillin, gave them massive doses of the education they would need to overcome the obstacles they faced. Christine, an HIV positive-woman left to raise four children alone when her husband deserted her, joined with other women in her village to fight rampant hunger and poverty. Tobias, a former street orphan studying psychology at the University of Zambia, dedicated himself to getting other homeless orphans off the street and into classrooms. John X. Carey gives their stories to you.

Inside a second package is an unforgettable film: Shelter from the Storm, --a gift that shows how a moment with a good teacher can give a lifetime of hope. Maria Reifler, a teacher in East Los Angeles demonstrates to her children the importance of living a life that matters. She offers hope to those who have already given up on life; some have even attempted suicide—and they are only in the fifth grade. Giving students certain academic skills may help them get into Harvard or Yale, she acknowledges, but what kind of human beings will they become? “Unless we do something to educate the total human being, we have failed as teachers.”

The third package contains Carey’s, most precious gift: Be Near Me, a film based on lines from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam, an homage to his friend Arthur Hallam. In just one and one-half minutes, he helps us understand and accept loss and allows us to see that we can move on.

…Be near me when my light is low,

…Be near me when my faith is dry,

…and the heart is sick and all the wheels of Being slow,

…Be near me when I fade away.

The visuals, the music, and the director’s vision make this a film to cherish and remember. http://vimeo.com27229362


John X. Carey


Thank you, John X. Carey for making our times more interesting.

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