Shades of Blue

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Casual Cruelties

A man killed himself in the neighborhood last night. He wasn't a particularly good man and he wasn't a particularly bad man. He was just a man.

He decided that it was harder facing every day than facing an uncertain night. So he found his rommate's gun, put it to his head and pulled the trigger. No one there; just him and his fate.

You see he was kind of homeless except for the kindness of another who let him stay in his house when the days and nights were too cold to be elsewhere. He had a lot of problems that overwhelmed him. But I know he hadn't started out that way.

He had probably been a good son and hopeful young man. Then he shipped off to war for someone else's ends. What he was when he came back was not what got shipped out. What came back was the man who would ultimately sit in the backyard on a January night and decide to put an end to the internal pain. It was a man wounded by casual cruelties.

All along the way others' casual cruelties had influenced his paths. The people who decided to send strangers they never knew to fight other strangers they never knew over things the people really didn't need inflicted the first and most crushing of the casual cruelties. When he came back he was forgotten, another casual cruelty, by the government that had so easily tossed him into harms' way to begin with. His pension and medical care was cut, casually and cruelly, oftentimes by people who had found ways to avoid fighting the other strangers.

All along the way, this man was buffeted by casual cruelty, one after another. There was no great evil intention, no blistering hatred of the man, to cause his pain. Just one casual cruelty after another inflicted by people who would never know him. Drip, drip, drip. Until it was less painful to taste the used gunpowder as he put one bullet into his brain than to endure this extended water torture of a life.

So as you consider what you've heard during the State of the Union Address tonight and as its discussed during the coming days, ask yourself -- how will these ideas and proposals inflict or heal the casual cruelties in our world?

We can't help the man who's death sounded like nothing more than the particularly hard banging of a dumpster lid as he felt the one bullet cut into his head, but maybe, just maybe, we can find ways to stop some of the casual cruelties crushing others around us.

1 Comments:

  • Well said Joy, your comments sure make one think about our situation, here and around the world. Palestine votes overwhelmingly for a Government and "we" have a problem with it. Something is wrong with that way of thinking. Maybe just maybe we need to look at our own Country's issues and let others make their own decisions. A lot of new initatives were created today and not over the last five years,I guess it was good timing on the Administrations' part. Everything just kinda came together all of a sudden. Humm

    By Blogger Deep Blue, at 10:15 PM  

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