Monday, January 25, 2010

What Good At All?

I am heartsick this morning.

With Twitter technology and online communities such as Facebook, we all have a platform now on which to declare our thoughts, opinions, and a daily snapshot of our lives. All of us are published. We also have a “bird’s eye” view into each others’ lives when those on our friends’ list post a daily status. From the heart the mouth speaks, and the whole world knows about it in real time.

Most of the time, I enjoy these updates. It’s always fun to connect with those who are too far away to be with all the time. I love it. But sometimes these declarations make my heart stop. I recently had one of my former students post a message that basically asked why we should give a shit about Haiti, a country that has been hit with a devastating 7.0 earthquake, especially since that country doesn’t contribute anything to the United States? Really?

Wow.

Not only was I left reeling at his apparent lack of human empathy, I was shocked by his classmates, also my babies, who “liked” his post, who left comments supporting what I believe to be self-absorbed and ignorant disregard. How many of them would be so quick to jump on this bandwagon if they were suddenly dropped into the middle of this horrific disaster and actually had to look into the eyes of the destitute and dying?

Surely they could not be so callous then. Could they?

I wanted to post, I wanted to SCREAM, “How about compassion?” but I’m pretty sure that would only result in a barrage of hateful responses from their friends and relatives criticizing me for being one of those “bleeding hearts” because that’s usually the mode of operation for anybody who dares to disagree online. Attack. Lash out. Don’t pause. Don’t ponder. Never contemplate criticism. That would show weakness. But my heart does bleed. It seems like there are people who think I should be ashamed for my bleeding heart, but I am not. If no one else is going to apologize for being caustic, then I’m certainly not going to apologize for crying out for mercy.

Perhaps I should have posted something sarcastic like, “THEN LET THEM EAT CAKE!” but somehow, I just don’t think they’d get it. So I posted nothing.

I am sad today. I’m sad. How can my babies, who have spent an entire year of their lives in my loving arms, walk away from the real-life lessons of love and compassion that I’ve tried to teach them? It makes me wonder what good I was to them.

What good at all?