Mostly, because people like me don't cry enough about anything.
"Who Killed Vincent Chin?" - a documentary about a hate crime against an innocent Chinese man who was beaten to death with a bat by two white workers (Nitz and Ebens) who mistakenly thought he was Japanese. "It's because of you little motherfuckers that we're out of work," declared Ebens, referring to U.S. auto manufacturing jobs being lost to Japan. The perpetrators spent one day in jail and were eventually cleared of charges.
F. Less now than before, but still once in a while, I will leave a lecture, discussion or video viewing absolutely floored by a true glimpse of extant evil and injustice in the world. These accounts effect changes beyond mere clinical depression, they inject cruel reality into the fat of our flowery and lavish lives. They should crush all humanly hope. You really think that people are good inside?
These are deep-rooted problems on a macro scale, inside and way outside of me, seemingly alien to my tiny, comfortable particle of existence, yet it touches everyone. OK, so this major makes me a really un-fun person to be around sometimes, with me moping around about abstract issues from time to time. But what I think is the real sin is that we don't mourn enough or care about what's happening to people. Blah, blah, blah: wait until it hits you at the heart, at the friend, at the loved one. I don't want to wait, I'd like to believe it and internalize it now. What can be done? There are the things you care about, some justified and others not, and then there are things you should really care about.
As Anne Lamott so honestly inquired (althought she was referring to Bush's reign), how can I help? I pray that I'll never stop pondering and asking this question.
What about the little, good things in life, you say? These should require similar scrutiny. For me, here are a few examples: quality time spent with my family, eating lunch on Fridays at the 100-year old sandwich grocery with my group of friends, trying new recipes with roommates, finding a well-fitting pair of jeans, pre-rain weather, listening to a song for the nth time and experiencing maximum auralgasm, watching old movies on Kristi's trundle late at night instead of doing homework. But let's examine these further. In my ability to enjoy these things, how am I privileged, and in contrast, how are others not? This is not to say that we should be abstaining from everything good and pleasurable, but that we should not take these things for granted because they come at great cost, and for many individuals, they don't even come.
Reader, I write this down so I will not forget. Carry a pen around everywhere and you're half there. The next time you see me I'll probably be sprawled on the couch, munching on a Wonka bar and rifling through the pages of the latest Star. I am the very problem I cry out against! Even if it takes thousands of failures before a breakthrough, the fist of triumph is still steadily raised.
"If you forget how to feel
Reach inside your chest
Is there a heart beating?
Is there there just emptiness"
There's a bloody heart in there! Use it.
Ah... forgetting already..
A Budget-Friendly San Francisco Apartment
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