I was on a run a few days ago and I happened to come across some students drawing on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. Yay! I happen to love sidewalk chalk, but what was most disturbing to me was what they were writing. As I ran by I happened to see:
"Slow Kids Cross Here"
Mildly ironic since it was outside of the library, however, I was outraged none the less.
But for the rest of my run, I was seething, and trying to understand the affect that this was having on me.
This is what I have come up with:
I, myself, like to consider myself as a unique person. I like to think outside the lines and challenge the system. I dont exactly read every month's Cosmo as if my latest and greatest version of the Bible has just come out. I cannot say I know the latest trends right now, the latest diet fads, "what's new in sex", or even why ugg boots are so popular. However, I also like to consider myself a rights activist and I believe that all people should have equal rights.
I like to think that those who stand up for the cognitively disabled are going against the system. Those who walk the road less travelled are those who are more unique. However, I wonder if this was a statement itself.
The students were doing something unprecedented, not many other people have been bold enough to scrawl "slow kids cross here" on the sidewalk before.
Does that make them unique because they have stepped outside the norm. Or is it still the norm to use such language such as "faggot" "retard" "gay". I have personally removed these words from my language, in such that, when I hear them now they stand out like a sore thumb.
Is it okay to use these words to describe stupidity, or disdain?
My response to all of this was a much more energized second part to my run. But I truly have to wonder who is unique in this situation?
Obviously, the situation does not have much merit in the greater scheme of things, however I still have to wonder-am I still unique because I follow a regime that does not make fun of such people- or is everyone else following the same regime and the "chalk scrawlers" in this instant are not.
However, I would like to respond to superfluouslove's earlier post.
How horrendous these acts of violence are. The acts of courage and the stories that the news is milking for all its worth bring tears to my eyes.
Friends silently talk about it in dorm rooms, but like Seattle, seldom do you hear a conversation about it in public.
It is disheartening to observe how we all slowly found out about it throughout the day, said that's horrible, and went back to our daily rountines. Can something this awful not shake up the daily rountine. Or is it the daily rountine that allows us to get through something this terrible.
After all, we obviously all cannot become so absorbed in all of it that we stop living, but compassion, hearing someone talk about the 33 dead, well that might be comforting- to know that people care enough to bring it up in public.
What is more disturbing still is the fact that it could happen anywhere. And the negative side of going to a huge university is getting the information out. Hearing conversations focused on how the university handeled it, or what the university is going to do about grading- well this sickens me.
A friend came in a started talking about how it was the end of term and final grades were beginning to be due. She asked "what would it be like to have to go back to that class? I mean does everyone just get a 4.0?" Are you joking me? We are so concerned about grades and forget about going back to a classroom that your classmates were shot in, never seeing people in your class again.
What's more is that I realize that my daily rountine was altered only for a second. Tremendously awful thing, I guess I just cannot become personally invested. After all, aren't we all thankful that it wasn't our campus?
Apathy is a scary thing. I wonder is it the apathy that gets us through living our lives. Not thinking about the other horrible acts of violence that occur all over the world, everyday? Obviously, we cant all be so affected that we stop living, if this were the case would we have all stopped our mundane lives and focused of Darfur? Would this solve the crisis over there? Or would we all sit and wait and watch wondering when someone else will step in the help, and after that, we could go back to our mundane lives.
Would compassion really hurt the world that much these days?