We’ve all had that painful, awkward impulse. A friend is struggling with a crisis or a loss, and we ask, lamely: “What can I do for you?” We ask, knowing the truth is, not much.

David Kuo

David Kuo has surely heard that a lot during his decade-long struggle with brain cancer. And on Jan. 30, he offered this answer, via his Facebook page:

Headed over to ucla for surgery – kicks off at 830 local.


Do something outrageous today – give way more than reasonable to a homeless person, take the family out for an ice cream dinner …  And serve only ice cream, call someone you hurt and ask forgiveness, call someone who hurt you and give forgiveness …  And send me a pic.

I have only met David a time or two. We are “friends” only in the Facebook sense of that word. And like just about everyone else in Washington, I was aware of the controversy/acclaim that surrounded him after he left the George W. Bush White House. Kuo had run its faith-based initiative during the first term, and then wrote a book accusing the president of failing to live up to his “compassionate conservative” agenda when it came to helping the helpless among us.

But over recent months, I feel I have come to know Kuo well, as I have followed his Facebook postings. He has shared this latest turn of his illness with exactly the kind of grace and strength that came through in that request for a “favor.” Again and again, he has reminded me that ordinary moments are the greatest gifts of all.

Rather than asking his friends to pray for a miracle, he has invited them to enrich their own lives by making one.

The response has been tremendous. Here’s his link. Scroll down and see the joy.

And then go out and do something outrageous today.