One of my favorite quotes is “Every life touches a life”. I’ve been telling my son that since he was a child. In my own perhaps naïve way, I drank the cool-aid of “do unto others…’ that my parents fed me. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make a difference to me as I came of age. After all, no one wants to be on the receiving end of someone else’s selfish or cruel actions. But the violence in Chicago and elsewhere in the US go beyond simple selfishness. We (especially Black people) are killing each other.
In my finite mind, this is a crazy phenomenon – man gets angry, man picks up gun, man shoots gun, someone falls dead, man walks away. Murder is as old as time itself but lately, it’s out of control. Of course, there are a myriad of reasons. Examples of this are absent fathers and negligent mothers, lack of jobs and education, physical and sexual abuse, gangs, and drugs/alcohol. But even with all the obstacles we face in our society, there has to be a way to the basic “do unto others” creed.
Each of us, by our very existence, can affect someone else on the other side of the world. How can this be so? I had a friend once who was going through a tough time. We talked things over and at the end of the call I told her “no matter what you’re going through just know that I love you and tomorrow is another chance to turn it around.” She called me a week later and told me that she was talking to her cousin who was stationed overseas. She told him the same thing and he told her that he needed to hear that because he was contemplating suicide. A word of encouragement to ONE person made its way across the ocean to another person who needed to hear the same thing.
We take our place in this world for granted– myself included. Let’s change that.