Now if you'd like to fill your mind with enough disturbing information that you may very well become distracted in the oddest of moments--begin your day with National Public Radio. (I'm scrambling eggs thinking, "can you really put solar panels on your lawn mower?") I'm addicted, completely. One of my greatest pet peeves with people is how small their vision is. I believe strongly that the wider the lens, the higher chance you have of not only understanding the world--but appreciating your small place in it. At this very moment there are over a million people in China that have had their entire world swept away in a storm....right now, this instant there is a woman over there sobbing, trying to even comprehend what has happened....what will she do...where will she sleep? How will she feed her children? And here I sit in my lovely dining room, the smell of ripe peaches drifting from the bowl on the table...do I make a cobbler? Shall I pack 2 or 3 dresses for vacation? I must force myself to really look at the world--to see the sadness, pain, hunger....for it is the very slap in the face I need to stop the entitled barrage of complaints that pop into my head. It's too hot--not enough money for a new tv--the neighbor's ridiculous dog and his issues.....they all suddenly seem quite pale.
One particular story on Sunday morning has lingered in my mind. They were discussing how they were changing the law to include violence against homeless people as a hate crime. (and please--this is my muddled memory of the article, look it up for the absolutes) Did you know that the definition of a "hate crime" is violence not motivated by personal gain or angry exchange? In other words, it is a crime done for "sport" or out of "personal belief." So as I'm digesting this, they start throwing out the numbers for how many homeless people are murdered every year.....and then they talk about the murderers. Nearly 50% of all homeless violence and murder is committed by children under the age of 19. 73% total by people under the age of 25.
I had to sit down. Literally. Hundreds of people....brutally murdered...for no gain, and for no wrong done. By our youth! What has become of us? I have my own beliefs about family and politics and such--hours of good-hearted debate with friends over burgers and beer.....but there are moments when there is this sickening thud in my soul. When you realize that the arguments and explanations and rationalizations are all rather useless against the facts. There is something wrong with our world.
My boys have been gone for 5 days--I will pick them up tonight. (cannot WAIT!) The house has seemed so empty and the cats have followed me around like friendless puppies. But I find myself motivated even more to face parenthood with passion. There is no wishy washy ground to be had here unless you want to fall on your ass! (lol) There is a right and a wrong. There are kindness and hate in this world.....and every day, every moment is a choice. Parenthood is exhausting, overwhelming, and utterly amazing. In it I face my own demons, see my own bad habits, and strive to open my children's eyes to the ugliness in the world--while empowering them to NOT be part of it.
Take a deep breath; we are incredibly blessed...but we are also responsible.
5 hours ago