Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I was doing a workshop at a library in a very poor section of town today. A little girl was there and I got to talking with her father in the hall while the kids were working. For some reason, he revealed a great deal of himself to me. He couldn’t have been more than 25 but he’d really been through the ringer. His dad died when he was 15 and he was in one state home after another. After he was on his own he was involved with this woman who got pregnant and then he found out he had testicular cancer. He didn’t have insurance, so he got thrown on disability. The woman took off. Now he’s on meds for depression, PTSD, bipolar and god knows what else. The disability doctors medicate him. He says that this little girl is what makes him keep it together. She isn’t actually his daughter- one of his friends died and there was nobody else to take her.
This story wrenched my heart and I felt privileged to hear it. The father was sincere and had a look of strain and pain in his face. The little girl was so sweet and totally unaware of the plight of her existence and future. This was just the way her life was. In the meantime, she liked pink and wrote a story about Christmas.
It just made me think- there are so many people who just don’t stand a chance. The medical system lets them down, they have nowhere to turn to. How are their lives ever supposed to get better?
This is a big question. Why is the state of man? But essentially it boils down to this- we did it to ourselves. Life is miserable for the majority of the human race because humans are territorial animals. We decide who is In and who is Out. We create hierarchies. It has been, and will always be, this way. A few groups determine the fate of all the other groups. It isn’t fair and it isn’t equal but it is how we are wired.
If we were to work together as a cohesive whole, limiting population and spreading education, sharing resources and health care, life would not need to be miserable for the majority of humanity. But we can’t even manage it in our own country so there is no hope of managing it worldwide.
The simple answer is it falls on the individual to fight as best they can with whatever resources are available which includes voting, getting whatever education is possible, taking advantage of social programs, and joining a group like a church or temple because they have resources.
The state of an individual can certainly change. The state of mankind worries me sometimes but it isn’t useful or helpful to dwell on things you can do nothing about. Better to be distracted by this JOYUS SEASON.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: I’ve heard stories from children that made my hair stand on end. The suffering and psychological damage that is inflicted on people can be heart breaking.
People have always suffered but many of us somehow find a way back to some kind of stability and happiness. Isolation is always our biggest enemy because hope is an emotion that needs to be fanned to a flame by many voices in hard times. We can help each other as much as we can hurt each other with our territorial aggression.
We all have to look for better things if we want better things. That little girl had her affection for pink and a sense of Christmas. She found something better and that’s what she sees and strives for. Her father strives for a better life because of her. Together, they stand a chance. Divided, they may both be lost.
I think the answer for hope lies not in our circumstances or in what is given to us. I think it lies in our ability to support each other…and in our individual willingness to grow our abilities to be their best.