Thursday, August 22, 2013

"We All Go Through Something In Life"

I can’t get the 911 call from a school secretary, who was confronted by a gunman, out of my head.  I’ve listened to it several times.

Many people are analyzing her ability to act as a negotiator, which I admire and know nothing about, but what I’m intrigued with is her ability to connect to something in all of us.

My most admired quote:  “It’s gonna be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know that I love you though and I’m proud of you, that’s a good thing that you’ve just given up and don’t worry about it.  We all go through something in life.”

She’s right.  The bottom line is, we all “Go through something in life.”  Some go through worse things than others.  But at the time, no matter what it is, we all feel like we are in the depths of hell. 

I can't imagine the hell Michael Hill was experiencing.  And this may not be popular, but kudos to Hill for recognizing his illness – at least during the split second when he could have shot up a school, versus putting  the gun down.

I don’t know what it’s like to hear voices in my head (other than the one telling me to work harder or putting me a guilt trip).  I’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness (although my motto is, those who DON’T think they’re messed up in some way, are the MOST messed up).  And I’m certainly no expert on this issue.  But I am human.

Our means of treating people with mental health disorders is severely lacking, if not non-existent.  Nearly three-quarters of the people in our country’s prisons suffer from a diagnosed mental illness.

The United States incarcerates more juvenile offenders than any other developed country in the world.

Many criminals have been victimized themselves.

This is not to say that people who commit crimes should not suffer the consequences.  But let’s think about this – all of us.  You, me, the legislature… doctors, lawyers.  Surely, there’s someone out there who is smart enough find a better way.
Maybe Ms. Tuft found a better way, simply by saying, “We don’t hate you baby.”

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