Sunday, October 9, 2011

Human Nature

This morning I happened to have caught a posting made by one of my facebook friends:

‎"My morality is rooted in my own desire to be altruistic along with my genetic predisposition towards compassion and empathy. Why would any intelligent person allow someone else, let along a mystical being in the sky, dictate to them how they ought to act? - Trish Novelli

My initial reaction was to simply nod and agree to respect his opinion, but after a while, the idea began to grate on my nerves. "My morality is rooted in my own desire to be altruistic along with my genetic predisposition towards compassion and empathy"....I suppose that would be an awesome thought to the few that actually allow these factors to negotiate their behavior. What remains are the many that don't listen to their moral fibers or are genetically predispositioned towards compassion and empathy. Perhaps the idea of a "mystical being" in the sky is what the many need in order to keep their darker self in check. Our society, however, has shunned the idea of answering to a higher power and left our conscious without a guide to help us do the right thing.

At one point in the night, I was so inspired to reply to his posting, that I had gone so far as to click out a few keys of sarcastic diatribe as a means of belittling his views of the world, but I guess you can say that I allowed that "mystical being in the sky" to remind me that I had enough emotions on my dinner plate, that the last thing I needed at the time was to get into a religious argument with someone who cares very little about my opinion on the matter.

Recently, my adopted mom finally decided to contact me. After years of "hiding" with her daughter, away from the world, by the hand of her daughter's tyrant of a husband, she was now living with her oldest son in the mountains of West Virginia. I was relieved to hear from her, as I had all but given up hope of ever hearing from her again and had spent a great deal of time mourning over the idea of the loss. The joy was quickly extinguished when I learned that her daughter had committed suicide and I was left reeling from the news.

Nicky was a beautiful girl with flaxen blond hair, who I remember as being happy and friendly to all she met. I just couldn't fathom this treasured soul thrown in the depths of despair so deeply as to find no other alternative of relieving the pain, then by her own hand. It left me quickly remembering the darkest moments in my life when I felt that death was the most logical way of stopping the pain. Then again, my childhood wasn't as filled with the love of family like hers. This was why I spent so much time at her home and adopted her family as my own - even to this day.

I don't speak about my darkest moments very often. Sometimes, the stories are just too difficult to relive through the tales. Sometimes you just have to close the door on an empty room that is no longer useful in your life, but this piece of news blew that door right open.

My biggest fear was being alone in a world bigger than my narrow mind could imagine. I've always been quiet and somewhat shy around new people - a bad combination for trying to met the right people to enrich your life. My days became an endless string of moments filled with working in order to survive. There was absolutely no joy in the idea of another tomorrow and no inspiration to motivate myself for anything more. The light of my world came with the birth of my oldest daughter.

I suppose we all need one bright light in our lives in order to face another day. For some, that light may be a rewarding job or a new car. For me, that light was having someone by my side that loved me unconditionally.

I don't know what that bright light was for Nicky and I've spent some time chastising myself for not trying harder to be there to help her find it. Then again, I think we all blame ourselves when things go wrong and brood about the would 'of's and could 'of's that plaque us in the dark of night. I have no unacceptable excuses for my lack of attention to her pain. Certainly, I could assure myself that I've been so wrapped up with work, family and school that I didn't find the time to write a letter or the balls to risk picking up the phone to call her and upsetting her tyrant husband. After all, petty excuses like these were enough to appease a judge into dismissing me from duty due to hardship, but they don't seem to be enough to seduce a fitful sleep.

Without that "mystic power in they sky", what will stop us from turning a blind eye to the sadness of others - either through fear, obligation or empathy? How will society keep their behavior in check if there is no one left to answer to? No eternal punishment that lies in wait for our damned souls and no hope of a bright light that promises reward for a good deed?

Those answers are found by simply watching the 10 o'clock news.