Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm Cursed

I'm cursed with empathy. I'm also by nature way too opinionated.
John Shirley

I'm going to assume everyone's heard of the Occupy movements all around the country, and jump right in.

A kid died at the Occupy Denton campsite. I can't think of a nice way to put that or a nice introduction to it. The Occupy Denton website called it a tragedy, and a facebook friend of mine posted the link on her wall. On the site that features the story, no comments are allowed, and with good reason. Within minutes of my friend posting the story, people were giving their opinions, what else is new? Some people expressed concern, some were supportive, but a few (aren't there always a few) were completely unsympathetic.

The website mentioned that the kid did drugs and that might have played a part in his death, and that fact apparently means we can't be upset that he's dead. Valid points were made, we can't call every death a tragedy and mourn the loss of every single person ever, or we'd always be sad, but that person also compared the kid's death to Hitler's and rapists and pedophiles. Another person said the kid wasn't worthy of our respect and mourning. Apparently because that kid made a choice to do drugs and be homeless, we shouldn't be sorry that he's dead.

And I'm just stunned at the the lack of empathy, the void of compassion for another human being, just because he did drugs.

It's probably because I am way too empathetic. I always give money to people who ask (homeless or not). I get angry on behalf of my gay friends whenever I hear people berate gays. I got into a different facebook fight about Michael Jackson's death because someone said we shouldn't mourn him. I felt sorry for Moammar Gadhafi when CNN kept playing the cell phone video of his corpse being found. Like the guy in the comments said, I feel sorry for murderers and rapists when they get the death penalty, even if I also feel vindicated.

Both of those people apparently were raised by addicts and alcoholics and one was homeless and they worked four jobs and crashed on friends couches and walked both ways uphill in the snow or whatever, so now instead of knowing what this kid might have been going through and feeling even sorrier for him, they said he had weak character.

I've never been homeless or addicted to drugs, and I can't think of any situation where I would end up homeless or addicted to drugs, and I cried when I read his story. The Occupy Denton camp is set up outside of the art building, so I walked by this kid every day. I'm upset that I couldn't do anything for him, and I didn't even know him. But it's his fault because he chose drugs over getting a job? The logic confuses me.

Regardless of his drug use or class status, he was a 23 year old, just two years older than I am, and he died in a fucking Occupy Denton tent. That is the saddest thing I've ever heard. He was someone's baby. I just keep thinking that his parents have to bury him. His parents that probably were offering him help or waiting for him to just get it together that no longer have that opportunity or hope that their son will change. Or worse, he has no parents.

I know I'm rambling, I can't seem to pull this post into any kind of order. I just can't wrap my head around it. When do we get to the point where we can decide who's life is or isn't worthy?
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