Deep in the Heart

“Everyone would remember Peter for nineteen minutes of his life, but what about the other nine million? Lacy would have to be the keeper of those, because it was the only way for that part of Peter to stay alive. For every recollection of him that involved a bullet or a scream, she would have a hundred others of a little boy splashing in a pond, or riding a bicycle for the first time, or waving from the top of a jungle gym.”  (excerpt from the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult)

“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?”
― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

As I have mentioned before in posts, I love to read. Books and I go together like peanut butter and jelly, its just always been that way. I am not a shopper, but you can lose me in a bookstore.

I read a variety of books, and one of my favorite author’s in the fiction category is Jodi Picoult. She writes in a way that really makes you think, her books are not light reading. They deal with heavy, controversial issues. What would you do in their shoes?  You feel empathy for both characters on different sides of the issue, and Jodi raises questions, but doesn’t give a pat dry answer, for sometimes what you may have thought had an easy answer doesn’t.

In her book “Nineteen Minutes” book, a tragedy happens at a High School, a classmate goes on a shooting spree. I know, sadly, that is not fictional at all. But in this book Jodi delves into the heart of a parent, not just the heart of the parents of the victims but the heart of the shooter’s Mom.

There are many poignant scenes throughout the book. In one scene the court session had just taken a break and the Mother of Peter, the shooter, was in tears. Her friend came up to her and she said, “I remember … He used to like peanut butter on the top half of the bread and marshmallow fluff on the bottom. And he could find anything I dropped, my contact lens, an earring, a straight pin – before it got lost permanently. Something still exists as long as there’s someone around to remember it, right?”

My heart ached, yes, I knew I was reading fiction but for some parents out there it is far too real!  I can’t imagine their pain! How can you comprehend that the baby you held in your arms committed such a violent act?

Sometimes I think it is far too easy to say, well that child must have had a horrible parents to have turned out that way! How often do we blame parents for children’s problems, and yes there are times where the parents are very responsible, but it isn’t always black and white like that!

It is also easy to say how the shooter must be a horrible person, but this book also delves into their heart. Yes, again its fiction, but I think it raises something so important. Not everyone that commits an unthinkable act is a cold hearted person, its more complex than that.

Compassion is something that this world can’t have too much of and its not something that is only for those who you think deserve it. For there usually is so much more to the persons story than what you see and know. Everyone was once a child, who rode a bike, or flew a kite and maybe perhaps even ate a sandwich with peanut butter on the top half of the bread and marshmallow fluff on the bottom.

 

 

 

Why Do We Judge?

The question should not be whether we believe her or not. The question instead should be why do we feel the need to judge her?

There has been a news story recently that has caused a lot of stir. There is a man who is very close to becoming a Supreme Court judge. There is one thing though that now  has come to light.  A lady has stepped forward saying that this nominee for the Supreme Court sexually assaulted her many years ago.

It has been the topic on all kinds of social media and the one thing that gets said over and over again is “Why did she wait so long to come forward?”  Which is followed by this popular answer, “Well obviously she is lying if she waited this long to say anything.”

This answer has so many problems with it and it brings me back to my first question, “Why do we feel the need to judge her?” And this isn’t just about her, its about every female that has dared to step forward admitting  to being sexually assaulted.

We wonder why more young girls and women don’t step forward, the answer is simple. Who wants to risk getting raked over the coals again and suffer shame and humiliation,  after already going through a traumatic experience!

I think of the women who are reading the discussions on social media about this case, and listening to the news reports about this woman stepping forward. The women who are reading and thinking to themselves, “me too”, “that happened to me”. The women who are silently cringing inside as they read all the negative publicity that this woman is dealing with now.  Do we really have to wonder why more people don’t come forward?

Why are we so quick to judge? So quick to throw that stone. Why are we so quick to say, “well if it would have been me… I would have….”  Really? You know exactly what you would have done if the same thing had happened to you?  We can say all we want about  what we would have done, but until you are in that situation you really don’t know. People respond to traumatic situations in so many different ways!

Where is our compassion instead of our judging heart? That can be said in a lot of other situations as well, not just sexual assault cases.

Why is it that we are so quick to decide what someone’s whole story is when a lot of times we only know half the story?

Can you imagine how much better this world would be if we were as quick to show compassion as we are to judge? As quick to give a helping hand as we are to tear someone down.

I think these 2 quotes sum things up pretty well.

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream Sundae’s and Thingamajigs

I had a dream last night that is stuck in my head and I thought I would share it.

I was in a big building with lots of people. I was sitting at a table looking at a magazine and there was a man sitting next to me. We started talking  and I was telling him about something that my child really would like, but that I had no clue how to make it.  I was looking at the magazine for instructions. No more was said and I went back to reading the magazine.

The next thing I knew he grabbed the magazine away from me. It was only laying on the table in front of me, so he hadn’t grabbed it out of my hands, but still he knew I was reading it.  I was shocked, but it wasn’t long until he gave it back.  Once more I went back to reading and a few minutes later he took it again. Well this time I was rather upset and I just grabbed another magazine while thinking how rude he was being.  He gave me the magazine back again and he left without saying a word. I can’t say that I was sorry to see him go.

Some time passed and I got myself an ice cream sundae. Actually I don’t remember getting up to get it , it just kind of appeared in front of me. Real life should be like dreams, think of what you want and instantly it appears!

After I finished my ice cream the man appeared in front of me again, but this time he had something in his hand. He laid it down in front of me and I was speechless. He had made what I had wanted to make for my child. It was perfect and I thanked him so much and realized how wrong I had been about him. Moments before my heart had been filled with irritation at him,  and now it was filled with gratitude.  I knew that I would have never been able to make the thing, even with instructions

I wish I could describe for you what the thing was, but I really have no clue.  All I know is  that it was a complex thingamajig. It had a little motor in it, some kind of fan that made another little strange thingamajig move back and forth. This thingamajig that blew back and forth was connected to the back of something which resembled a person. I remember that the person like thing appeared to be smiling and that their hair was standing straight up, but that’s it.

The moral of the dream :  Don’t be too quick to judge, even when you don’t understand why someone is doing what they are doing. You may be surprised at their motive! What “the thing” was supposed to be? What it meant?  Well, I believe we may never know that answer, unless any of you have an idea about it that you want to share. Feel free to share below.