Two Good Reads:
“That we go numb along the way is to be expected. Even the bravest among us, who give their lives to care for others, go numb with fatigue, when the heart can take in no more, when we need time to digest all we meet. Overloaded and overwhelmed, we start to pull back from the world, so we can internalize what the world keeps giving us. Perhaps the noblest private act is the unheralded effort to return: to open our hearts once they’ve closed, to open our souls once they’ve shied away, to soften our minds once they’ve been hardened by the storms of our day.”
~ Mark Nepo, from “Hearing the Cries of the World”
Read Nepo’s essay here.
Photography Credit: Fernando Lemos
via The Atlantic:
“I know my obsession with Lea is partly selfish. Her story is like a hologram. Tilt it, let the light hit it from a different angle, and the dead girl we’re talking about is me. We’d both gotten cited by police at 14 for drinking beer on the beach. At the height of our friendship I matched her drink for drink, inhale for inhale. If I’d had a little less luck, or she’d had a little more—how would this story go? In my memory, yes, I’m the sidekick, yes, she was the one always egging us to take one more step into the shadows, where we could really get hurt. But wasn’t I holding her hand, encouraging her with my willingness to follow? One night, while we laid outside in the field, a little tipsy, she grabbed my arm and made me promise her I’d never let her turn out like a druggie girl who lived in the rundown apartment complex behind my house. I promise, I told her. I promise.”
~ Julie Buntin, “She’s Still Dying on Facebook”
Read Buntin’s article here.
Sometimes, more likely, most times, I am my own worst enemy. I was reading more news about the fallout from Steubenville and CNN when I decided to click through on some links. The road I went down was not yellow-brick or rainbow-hued or lined with daisies. It was dark and dirty and left me feeling literally sick to my stomach.
This is what I have deduced from just a quick perusal:
- Girls/women who are raped are fair game for name-callers, haters, and anyone else interested in further harming them emotionally thanks to easy access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Children are not safe anywhere, not in school, not in church, not in their counselors’ offices, not even in the dental chair.
- Our society has become emotionally numb to this news because it is so damned pervasive.
- I also read a blurb about this phenomenon that occurs mostly with Japanese male youth in which they decided never to leave their bedrooms. I can truly appreciate this and wonder why it is not more widespread.
- It’s kind of hard to decide which social travesty is breaking my heart more these days: the ways in which rape is treated so cavalierly, especially among our youth, or the prevalence of pervs in every single facet of our society.
- In case you think that I’m overreacting, feast your eyes on the following:
- In Ohio: Two teenage girls were arrested and accused of using social media to threaten the young victim in the Steubenville Rape Case.
- In Indiana: A woman is charged with trying to sell her one-year-old daughter for child porn.
- In Florida: A man has been charged with using his neighbor’s wi-fi to download child pornography.
- In Pennsylvania: A man admits to paying a 10-year-old neighbor for sex.
- In Iowa: A 48-year-old male daycare provider has been accused of sexually abusing a number of children from as young as four-years-old.
- In California: A 14-year-old boy has been charged with molesting two children who attended the day school run by the boy’s mother.
- In California: A dental hygienist has been accused of sexually molesting a teenaged girl; there may be more victims who have yet to be identified.
- In New York: A rabbi has been found guilty on 59 counts of child sex abuse.
- In California: A former teacher is facing allegations of molesting 12 children; principal had been warned about questionable behavior three years prior.
- In Arkansas: A church volunteer who was a member of the youth ministry has been charged with possession of child pornography.
No more. I had to stop myself. This is precisely why I stopped watching the news on television and also why I limit how much and what I read on the interwebs. I’m not made of strong enough stuff for this.
“Rhetoric does not get you anywhere, because Hitler and Mussolini are just as good at rhetoric. But if you can bring these people down with comedy, they stand no chance.” ~ Mel Brooks
I just so totally stole this from I Want Ice Water (who appropriated it from someone else). No Leftover Fridays of my own could ever even compare to the genius that is World War II via Facebook:
Music by Mavis Staples, “In Times Like These”