Beating around the bush – or jumping off a cliff to avoid it…

Above title could refer to the fact that unlike all other bloggers I did not make a post about the Newton school shooting. But it doesn’t. I was equally grieved and appalled but with Noah’s paralysed small intestine, I have had my hands full. Alas he is still very ill, but I need to comment on the last days events.

The school shooting; horrendous sad devastating cruel. My heart goes out to all who was involved and I hope that you have excellent grief counsellors over there, who will support and take care of the parents and students both.

The debate after the fact is another matter. It sickens me that all we human beings can do these days is point our finger at each other. We have come this far since the dark ages, we are so enlightened, so much children of modernism. And yet we have learned absolutely nothing.

This is not about guns, it is not about mental illness and it is certainly not about evil.

This is about us building and supporting a society where there isn’t room for diversity, abnormality or just plain “a little off”. Nothing counts today but the absolute fittest. The richest. The most beautiful. The skinniest. The most succesful.

Being anything less, even without being handicapped, is considered a personal flaw and a personal responsibility, because if mr. or miss. success could do it, anybody can. It is no longer a question of luck, certainly not of being a good person, not even a question of having the right connections. The fable is; that the succesful ones did it all by themselves simply because they are better.

Now this is a small crowd. The fairytale princes of riches. But the illusion poisons us all. Because if one can do it anybody can and we begin to feel better than the next person down on the latter. At least then we can taste a drop of the golden success of the fabled princes.

I know the economy has a lot to do with it. When we have to do without our precious luxuries we bicker and snarl and blame each other. But you know, the economy is really not THAT bad. It is not booming on hot empty air, true. But we are not starving or need not be if the wealth was shared. We are not void of water or soil to grow food for us. We are not even without internet or television. This is not a depression. This is a minor set back because we leapt too far ahead the last ten years.

Back on topic. Sorry – I have a lot to say when I am finally here.

The Newton tragedy didn’t happen because guns are legal in the US, or because the mother wasn’t taking care of her son or because the young man was autistic. It happened because everybody is so incredibly busy looking out for themselves instead of doing right by everybody including themselves. Mentally ill people or handicapped people need intense medical intervention from an early age. They have to be able to get this regardless of their (or their families) income. They need Special schools, special work places or day centers. And most of all they need to be respected as equally ill people as the somatically ill. Why is that so important? Because unless mental illness is regarded as an equally innocent event in a person’s life as cancer or diabetes, parents will continue not to seek the adequate help. They will continue to hide their story and their hardship with their children. Young people will continue not to ask for help when they suspect something might be amiss in the psyche.

And we will continue to have this unnecessary amount of tragedies throughout the world, carried out by mentally unstable or ill people, who could have gotten help – and who should have.

Talking about guns, and parenting and evil is just beating around the bush.

Grabbing hold of yourself and your prejudice and changing how you perceive the world – now that might actually change something.

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About Astrid Lequime

Founder of the Noah Lequime Foundation. Our goal is to brighten the lives of underprivileged special needs children around the world. Social worker, philanthropist and mother of three children. Two are special needs children.
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