Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Dark Side of the Day

Into this time of family love, celebrated in song and story for both warmth and dysfunction, enters a new kind of piercing sadness that will go unseen, collateral damage of the Newtown horror uncounted among the casualties.

All sides of today’s debates fall back on clich├ęs about mental illness and mental health with rampant anxiety and ignorance. While arguments rage over deadly weapons, conventional minds close ranks to join in stigmatizing those whose lives do not fit familiar patterns.

In a long lifetime, this is a category of human beings that includes almost all those I have respected and most I have loved deeply-—men and women who respond to life with deep feeling, who think their own thoughts, follow their own drummers and fail to fit into socially pre-fabricated patterns that hide their inner depths.

In a headlong rush toward “safety,” such remarkable people may well be hurt  as sacrifices to an illusion that rejects their loving natures and exceptional humanity for better-safe-than-sorry platitudes.

To whomever may be added to that list of innocent victims, a gift of love and understanding from those who can see them as they really are and love them even more for the qualities that make them so intensely human.

Without them, we will all live in a world of faceless robots, some of whom may not be as safe as they seem to be and certainly not as life-enhancing.

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