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Musings from the Laundromat: “I don’t know” edition

There is just so much going on right now.  Personally, Locally, Nationally, Globally.

Wasn’t sure how I was going to convey all that I felt about it until I was in the shower.  I remembered that it’s okay not to know.  And that pretty much tied everything together.  “I don’t know.”

I’ve shared my opinion here in many posts – that it’s so easy to jump to conclusions (one of the few exercises I participate in unfortunately – but knowing this and not liking it is the first step to changing it.)

Unless it’s happened to you – or you were there – you can not believe everything you read, hear or even see.

Even then I suppose it’s subject to perception.

I jumped on the Justice for Trayvon bandwagon with no first hand information – I got sucked into the media circus.  I do believe, with absolute certainty, that we, as humans, can be persuaded to one side of an argument or another if only one side is pushed down our throats around the clock.

I have to step back today and remind myself:

I was not there.

I do not know.

Still, as a mother and a human, my gut is uneasy with the ruling.  George Zimmerman IS guilty of killing Trayvon Martin.  Did the prosecution have enough evidence to prove that he killed him unjustifiably?  Beyond a reasonable doubt?

I don’t know.

Obviously we have a deceased 17-year-old who died at the hands of another – that’s evidence enough for me to warrant some sort of justice!

The uneasiness I feel stems from the fact that there appears to be no justice.  But again, I don’t know that.

I don’t know if George Zimmerman has night terrors, is wracked with guilt – if his wife lies beside him at night thinking he’s a monster now.  If he’ll ever be able to resume any semblance of a ‘normal’ life.  He was judged in the court of public opinion – and that court does not adjourn.

My heart breaks for the Martin family.  I do know this.  There is no coming back for Trayvon.  Not from this.

Onto Cory Monteith.  One of my guilty pleasures is the television show ‘Glee.’  I was saddened to hear that one of its stars passed away.

Only 31 years old.  And why does it seem like more of a loss when someone is young and talented?

Shouldn’t every life should be both celebrated and mourned when it comes to an end?

Cause of death has not been determined yet, but, since they’ve stated foul play does not seem to be a factor, and since Cory recently exited a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse – the threads about his death have concluded (without actually knowing yet) that he died of an overdose.

He was found alone in a hotel in Canada by staff after he failed to checkout by checkout time.

For all the fame and wealth and celebrity that he had – he is gone and not coming back.

It doesn’t make a difference to me what cause of death was.  It’s a terrible shame and my heart goes out to his family, friends and to his fans.

If it was an overdose, I hope intelligent conversations can shed light on the issue of addiction.  That some good can come from that conversation.

On a personal note, I spoke with a dear friend yesterday that lost someone she loved.  The cause of death is also unknown – but what is known points to suicide.

She is left not knowing.  Wondering.  Living with questions and regrets. And even if the autopsy report concludes ‘overdose’ – she will still not know.

Did he mean to end his life?  Was it an accidental overdose?  Was it a cry for help that went too far?  Because – he too, is not coming back.  What is left are the people who knew and loved him trying to pick up the pieces and digest what they don’t know in order to move forward with their lives.

“I don’t know.”  Not knowing something puts us in fear.

Then again, I would rather hear “I don’t know” from someone rather than be given false information.

And when I’m asked a question I don’t have an answer for – I admit it.  Then if it’s important enough to me, I’ll educate myself on the topic or research an answer.

In my personal life – I’ve taken the very blunt, play-no-games approach.  I know how it feels to be in the dark – to not know where I stand.  I choose today to not make someone else feel that way.  It’s not kind and it’s not fair.

But then life is often not what I would consider ‘fair’.  I’ll speak for myself when I say that I tend to want what I consider a just, and reasonable beginning, middle and end.  But life is not like that.

I don’t know, but I would imagine the Martin and Monteith families probably agree today.

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Mercy for me – justice for others

I don’t subscribe to that.

I find myself living to the contrary.  Justice for me and mercy for others.

I have a hard time accepting mercy or even believing I deserve it.  I hold myself to making amends and am pretty hard on myself.

But others …

Some of this might sound a little like I’m siding with, or making excuses for some pretty awful people.  Please bear with me.

I hope I can make my point well.

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It breaks my heart when I hear about a young person committing a horrific crime.  Yes, even Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  He’s still a teenager!

It’s a proven fact that the brain is not fully developed until aged 25. 

The ‘thinking through’ process isn’t there yet.  Not completely.

What he participated in is atrocious, but I can’t help but mourn the loss of his life too.  A bad decision, (to put it mildly) perhaps born from peer pressure,  constant teachings from someone he trusted and looked up to – has taken any future he might have had.  Gone.  In the blink of an eye.  No do-overs.

Adults too – Consider this scenario, having gone to dinner – perhaps an impromptu celebration, someone has a glass of wine too many. They get in their car, and end up killing someone.  This is was not premeditated – the person is not a murderer.  I wonder about their lives before – odds are they were a great parent,  gave to charity, were of service, had friends they supported, family they cared for.  Their future, Gone.  In another blink.

Even when I’m behind someone who’s driving erratically in front of me – I stop and think “Well, maybe they just got into an argument with a loved one, or perhaps they’re running late to work and this is the last chance before they lose their job.”  I don’t get angry.  I slow down.  I consider there is more to the story than I’ll ever know.

But when it comes to me …

I like to think I’ve forgiven myself for the things that haunt me still.  If God forgives me, I have no business not following suit.  But it’s difficult.

I’ll be honest – when things go awry, there is a part of me that thinks I deserve it.  The part of me that has grown so much spiritually, glares at the illogical part of me that believes this then rolls its eyes.  I know better.  But it is still a part of my thinking. 

I pray sometimes for help forgiving myself. 

I feel more for others than I do for me. 

I have an obsession with the mentally ill.  I’m fascinated by the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of behaviors I don’t understand.  I watch shows like Lock Up and the like, and I see a vacancy in murderers eyes.  I think, they are capable of such atrocities for a reason.  Probably partially born that way, then environment pushing them into the wrong direction. 

What if they had love?  What if they had services to treat their mental illness?  How could they stand a chance without those things?

Of course, I mourn for their victims too – but I do find myself thinking about all involved. 

And it’s just such a shame – and such a loss.  Those men behind bars were once someone’s babies.  They were small and innocent and hopeful once.  Then lost.  Or perhaps never stood a chance.

And if my heart can be open for them, why not for me? 

Another thing to contemplate and pray on.

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