Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Kinda Sad. Kinda Happy. Kinda Blah. But Still Hopeful For A Brighter Day.

(Read Clay's column. It's good. And conveys many of my own feelings and thoughts right now...)

I know you've got a million things on your mind. And so do the people in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. I'm really sad at times, thinking about the suffering in our human family. I'm really happy at other times, thinking about the lives that WERE spared. Thankful for everything I have, and everything that I don't.

Even on days when I feel I can't write a lick, at least I have that privilege to sit and write... when I want to. On days when I complain about working a day job, it's a job. On days when I worry about taking lunch from home or driving with less that 1/4 a tank of gas, I know that's way more than some people will ever have. It's a gift to be alive, to know I have the capability to live for another 50+ years (barring no tragedies or bad choices), to have good days and bad days.

Yet at the same time I feel blah. I'm not one of those religious types who justifies human suffering or injustice with scripture... or who believes things can be explained away like that with whatever... Yet, I feel hopeful for the future.

Hopeful about my future. Hopeful that people who are able to re-build will be able to. Hopeful that the hierarchies of ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation will not stand in the way of helping those in the Southeast U.S. get their lives back on track. That those hierarchies won't hold any of us back... or are so subtly embedded in our thoughts that we hold someone else's progress back. Everyone deserves a fair shake.

Still, I can't help but wonder why so much of New Orleans is impoverished... why the powers-that-be and people-in-charge allow such impoverished conditions on their watch... and these are pre-hurricane conditions... So much I think about. So much work to be done, in this place perceived to be the land of opportunity around the world. Oh well.

I am... I really am... an optimistic person. I've had a privileged life, in the sense that neither my family nor I have suffered a major tragedy or set back. Things have come easy, even though we've had to sacrifice. Even though I know my place in the world with all the ethnicity, class, and gender labels put on me shape me and my progress. Still, sometimes I think my life is too easy, compared with the suffering people go through around the world. Maybe my day is coming. We all have them. I hope I can handle it when it does. This is what kids educated by Jesuits do... reflect about life and our role in the world. I'm okay, really. This is me... now.

I'm off to Atlanta. And off of blogging and e-mail for a few days. I hope you are well. I hope the best for all of you.
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~^^~Elsie~^^~ said...

Fred: You are truly wonderful humanitarian person! I share your optimistic attitude, but at the same time, I feel "blah" or "sad" for those people in the Southeastern US. Things like this cannot be explained. I wonder "who caused this? What's behind this?" Have a safe trip to Atlanta and yes, "when and if" something happens in your life, I feel - I get this vibe - that you will handle it. You have the right attitude!

Clay said...

thanks for the shout-out - i have a new post ... everyday im getting more shocked how this is being handled.