Monday, March 21, 2011
Why? (by Sharon Dzialo)
Another guest post and so my vacation continues... I am beginning to like this! My wife, Sharon, pondered and pondered...here are her reflections.
I was having a sleepless night (and, no, it wasn’t my son’s fault – he generally sleeps like a hibernating bear) and those thoughts started – you know, the ones that absolutely consume you until you do something with them. I mentioned a few of them to my husband and he responded, “hmmm, that would make a good blog. . . “ so here I am.
I am not a newcomer to being consumed by my thinking. I spent five long years writing my book, one story at a time. Each event, each story would stay with me for days, weeks and months until I would finally get it down on paper.
My thoughts last night, this morning? I am wondering why (and this is a BIG THOUGHT) we do such a terrible job of taking care of our most vulnerable. To bring it closer to home – when Adam had his accident his life changed dramatically. Well, why was there not a reverberating impact experienced by all of those connected to him? For instance, Adam had many friends. Why did they (actually, they were young, but what about their parents?) not look at the situation and say, “I have a friend who suffered a severe brain injury. How must I look at my life and change it dramatically so that I can continue to be his friend.” Or, “ I have a grandson, a nephew, a cousin who had an accident. How must I change my life to include Adam? His life changed so those connected to him in any way should have felt the impact and opened their life for the necessary change, right?
No, instead, in our culture, we allow ourselves to deny, distance, judge, ignore, justify. You know those lines, “I have to get on with my life.”, “I can’t look at him. It’s too sad.” “There but for the grace of God go I” (hate that one), “If that happened to me or to my kid, I couldn’t handle it.” “I have enough going on in my own life.” “I don’t know what to say or do.” (so I do nothing. . . )
I watch how we are in the world. We rally for catastrophes – most recently, the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We rally in the moment and, as a member of the human race I am proud in those moments. We are one. We give away millions, we save animals, we march for Cancer, Heart disease, Aids. So what happens when the crisis, the need hits closer to home, like in our backyard? We don’t rally, we don’t march, we walk away. We can’t remedy the situation with a check, one visit, one song. We would need to make a lifetime commitment. And we don’t do it. . .
Getting back to the original thought – that reverberating impact. Can you imagine what it would be like if every person who experienced a long term injury or every child who was born with some kind of disability was surrounded by friends, family and community as a matter of course. It would be the expected behavior. These friends, family and community members would allow their life to be changed by the event, they would open their life to include these challenges? Remember this line, “it takes a community to raise a child”? Well, it takes a community to care for our disabled AND it’s a long term job. People could learn to give and to love with no strings attached. They would then receive the most precious love – uncensored, grateful and pure. They would know deep purpose and meaning in their life.
Why? Any thoughts?