I’m really honestly thinking about this one. It would be too easy to say love, and considering the mush fest that was my last post, I think I need to come up with something a little more concrete than that, but love does give me hope. When Joe walks in the door every night, I know that everything is going to be all right. When we snuggle, it feels like nothing can get to me.
Overall though, I would have to say people. I know this world is fucked up, and 99.9% of our problems stem from the poor decisions of people. But we have an amazing resiliency that just refuses to give up. We have proof unfolding right in front of us, though it’s in a rather unexpected place. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and almost died when a young man came to one of her town hall meetings and shot at the crowd gathered there. Six people ended up dying, and over a dozen more were injured. In the days after the shooting, the Westboro Baptist Church announced that they were going to picket the funerals of the people who died in the attack, saying it was God’s punishment on the people of America for their sinful lifestyle. These are the same people who protest at military funerals and when our troops come home. They are sick individuals who don’t deserve the media coverage they get, but there isn’t much we can do about it.
But then the people of Arizona responded. They passed a law stating that it was illegal in the state to picket or protest within 300 yards of any funeral, thereby protecting the families who were grieving the loss of their loved ones. Private organizations and individuals stepped up to bat as well, forming a wall between the picketers and the families so that the families were able to say goodbye to their loved ones in peace.
And then there is the story of Rep. Giffords. She was shot in the head, a wound that should have been fatal. It was not, and she is making an amazing recovery, already in a rehab facility. And most people who don’t die from her kind of wound usually end up in what is known as a non-responsive state, where she would have largely been kept alive by machines. But this isn’t the case either. While it’s still too soon in her recovery to say how well she is going to do, she has made amazing progress, thanks in large part to her determination to survive and the quick work of a team of doctors. When she came to that hospital, the doctor could have given up, and he probably would have been very justified in that decision. His training would have told him that her chance of living a normal life, even if she did survive, was slim at best. But he made the choice to try to save her life, and she is (hopefully) on the road to an amazing recovery.
All that to say, people give me hope. We mess up, don’t give me wrong. But we also have this amazing ability to bounce back, to pull ourselves up by the boot straps and go at it again, and again, and again, and…
Well, you get the picture.