17 December 2012

Never enough

So three weeks ago my grandma died, and a week ago my sister in law called me an hour before my alarm was to go off to tell me that her mom had died, and the same day there was a shooting out here in the west, and on Friday one of my favorite (former) colleagues died, and then there was that shooting in Connecticut, and if you can handle extreme vulgarity follow this link, here, and you will know approximately how I felt all weekend.

Look, it isn't just here. I feel sick and desperate when I read about the war in DR Congo, too, or the shootings of beautiful little kids in urban Chicago.

I cannot imagine, in any part of the world, how a person points a gun at a child and pulls a trigger. I can't. And yet it happens, all over, and there is some vicious combination of alienation and mental illness that drives these things, and I can't stop thinking that we are all failing, too.

I used to work with emotionally impaired kids, and frequently I see them in the adults I work with now: scared and lonely, and wishing that just one person would be glad to see them, or had been at the point when they most needed it.

Are you glad to see them, though? Am I? I don't think I am often enough glad to see them.

Most times I think that I do enough, in my line of work, but then something like this happens, and I know that you can never do enough. While our lives are safe and comfortable, there are people, even in wealthy white neighborhoods, who are dying to be seen and accepted for who they are: autistic, or transgendered, or mentally ill, or plain lonely. And we aren't doing that. We don't see each other. We don't welcome each other, each broken, strange one of us.

We aren't doing enough.

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