This weekend I am getting a taste of nearly full-time caregiving. My findings are not uplifting. Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease for both patients and caregivers, and the devastation is wearing on me.
What is no less wearing is the current political situation. Omi and I have experienced quite a few interruptions to our daytime programming in the last few days. Whether it’s a local update on the fire in West, Texas, or a national bulletin about poisoned mail or a report on the gun control decision or a broadcast of the interfaith service for the Boston victims, the news is no less painful than the situation in my aunt’s house.
What is this chaos? What is this fear and anxiety? What is this violence? I think the world is ending, and my greatest concern is whether I will get to hug my best friend again. I don’t pause for a second to ask what I can do or how I can care; I am too concerned with keeping my Omi in Sprite and ice cream for the day. Not that my burden is undone by the turmoil in the world, but my perspective can be greatly skewed at times.
Today I discovered the picture of 8-year-old victim Martin Richard, a hero in his own right. The image inspired me: “No more hurting people…peace.” He was a little boy, whose greatest care should have been what flavor of Capri Sun was in his lunch, yet he was more touched by what happened to Trayvon Martin than I was–I who am tasked with feeling and shaping the current world, I who am supposed to be part of an emerging leadership.
Today, my Manifaustin is to be engaged, through my attention, and care, and prayers. And I can be engaged through my example. I cannot change these problems. But I can take Martin Richard’s words to heart: “No more hurting people.” He died at the hands of that lie, for people will continue to hurt people as long as humanity continues. But he is a hero if one person sees his example and turns toward peace.
Today I resolve to be that one person.