I know the blog has been dark for a while. Life has been, well, life. I've been busy. I have a lot to tell you but the timing just hasn't worked out.
I am so tired right now but I really needed to sit down and write some things down. Perhaps it is my equivalent of therapy. Or maybe this has just been the kind of week where everyone needs their voice to be heard.
I feel the need to make a list.
1. I put up a post on facebook asking for more attention to mental illness in our country. It is at best ignored and at worst treated as a joke. My case in point is Charlie Sheen. The man had an extremely public mental breakdown. It was prime fodder for late night talk shows. If he had cancer, people would have reacted very very differently to his illness.
Many mental health advocates have spoken out about the criminalization of mental illness. I feel like they don't understand that most of us who are raising this issue are actually on their side. If we don't ignore it or joke about it perhaps we can actually help the people who are suffering from it. Many get treatment but many many more go untreated. And, much like people who are untreated for the flu or un-vaccinated for measles, there are public health consequences.
2. You can believe whatever you want to believe but I do not--and will never--believe in a vengeful God. People like Mike Huckabee are basically saying that God is saying "Fuck You" to humanity. I don't know what or who God is. I don't possess the necessary hubris to demand that my God is better than your God or that God loves me best. But I do, quite deeply and profoundly, believe that there are things in the world that are unexplained and God is one of those. And I believe that whatever or whoever is greater than I am would much prefer that I choose kindness and goodness rather than hatred and isolation. If you are a letter of the law biblical believer I will respect your right to be that person. I am not. But the bible has led me to believe, via the concept of deadly sins, that God is not proud.
3. Please please please keep your grief in context. I am very sad for the families who have suffered this week. In the spirit of bearing witness, I read the names of all those poor little children as soon as they were published. I read every syllable slowly, with respect. And I wept. But I wept for the fear I feel right now. I wept because my inability to conceive of this kind of pain is uncomfortable for me.
But know this and know it well. Every single person who has not been directly affected by this tragecy should be weeping for the fact that we are so very lucky.
So please don't ask for my compassion right now if you are crying over the news. I am too. And for heavens sake don't show up in their neighborhood or at their funerals if you don't belong there. You will be taking a parking space from someone who has lost a family member or friend. And those people should not have to walk one extra step because you needed to get in their way.
4. I'm going to do the multiple please thing again. Please please please please please start compromising. I sent a letter to the NRA today offering to compromise with them. I asked my Congresswoman to be a voice for compromise in our government. For heavens sake, we've heard more than enough about the second ammendment this week. Let's please please please talk about the first amendment and exercise our right to freedom of speech and talk about this, work things out and find a common ground. Whenever I have a conflict at work, I tell my employees that it is highly unlikely that anyone will get their own way but it is also highly likely that everyone will end up happy enough. Can't we work on that on a bigger level?