Learning about people through Tragedy

Aside

I’m going a bit off topic tonight. I’m in the middle of one of those metamorphosis phases in a person’s life. Some events just rush into our lives and turn us upside down. Nano was the beginning of this for me. Beginning my first novel this way; just conceptualizing it and diving in…studying the writing process and coming close to the end with the realization that I have something really great on my hands have given me the strength to say to myself, “I can write professionally!” I know that my novel will be a thin shadow of itself by the time I actually complete Nano and will need moths of rework before I begin reaching out to literary agents and publishers. It’s the momentous first steps which are the most life altering, though.

My heart is heavy and I have had a hard time writing for a couple of days now. Recent personal events have compounded the experience of writing my first novel in profound ways. I’ve struggled with my poverty and the raising of my young children while writing the entire time. As fate will have it, no life altering experience comes easy and two days ago, I found out that my cousin’s little girl passed away after a 6 month battle with cancer. 

My cousin and I were not close. We grew up 1,000 miles apart and only interacted during summer vacations and some holidays. Still, there is love there and my heart is heavy with compassion for them. I find my thoughts wandering toward my cousin, her parents and the larger branches of their community that has been impacted by this tragedy. 

For days, I haven’t been able to wrap my brain around the reasons why such a beautiful, strong little girl would be taken from this world before she ever got the chance to make an impact on it. Then, it dawned on me that the reason I don’t see the logic in it is because I’m looking at it all wrong. As I look through pictures of her on the Facebook page that was set up for her while she was going through treatment, I realize that she has made a more profound and important impact on the world than most people with 10x the life on earth. 

Throughout everything, she was strong and steady. She looked this horrible disease in the face with a smile and took all of it with more faith than most of us show in much better circumstances. This legacy will live on forever and who knows the power it will hold. Although she is gone, she has left something behind so inspiring and beautiful that I can only imagine the great ways it will manifest itself. 

It has already manifested itself in her mother, who has taken everything with the same faith and grace that her daughter showed. Even now, through her grief, she is able to acknowledge that there is a higher purpose for this happening. I’m sure there is no way for me to EVER understand the weight that she has on her right now and I commend her for her faith and strength. She will forever be a living example of her daughter’s legend and testimony to the world. 

With that said, I must digress a bit. For every beautiful thing in this world, there is an equally dark and twisted realization. When something like this happens, it becomes easy to see the true nature of people. For my cousin and her daughter, their light shines through. For others directly and distantly around them, however, shadows are cast on the darkest parts of their souls. 

I’m going to speak in more generalities from here on out, because it’s the proper thing to do. 

I will never understand how some people (and our society in general) have come to a point where compassion is so lacking. Perhaps because I am an empath, I feel things in deep and intense waves. I do not have to have a strong connection with somebody (or even like them, for that matter) to feel deeply when something goes really wrong for them (or right, conversely). Yet, it is so easy to use a person’s faults against them to shield ourselves from actually giving a crap when things happen to these people. 

It’s really a societal problem. When a bomb is dropped in a foreign country, why do we rejoice? Are the soldiers fighting against our own fathers and sons just the same? We feel no compassion toward these people because they’re not our own. When will the world wake up and realize that we are all connected? Pain in one is a collective pain and should be treated with dignity and honor. 

I’m not trying to propagate some liberal, hippy agenda here. (To me), it’s common sense, really but our values have carried us so far from it that it seems radical. It may be radical to feel the need to loose a few dollars to be there and try to comfort the family during this time…so be it! You want to judge me and look down on me for this? So be it! You want to use this moment as opportunistic to insert your power over those around you…so be it! 

Looking at it on a larger scale and considering the collective uncounciousness, you are part of the problem. People like my cousin and her daughter are the solution…if you’re too unwise or close minded to see this, I truly feel for you! 

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