Warning: This is not my usual post. A recent event occurred in our community, and I wanted to share my semi-fictionalized account.
“He’s just trailer-trash.”
“You are such a bimbo!”
Haole. Uncle Tom. Jap. Honky. Mick. Hymie. Poon. Spic. Rag-head.
“That’s so gay!”
The golf ball shot off the tee and veered sharply to the left, heading straight toward the posh homes parallel to the fairway.
Inanimate objects don’t know where they’re going, nor where they’ll stop. The tiny ball’s path would eventually bring it through the Murray’s family room window and fatefully come to rest at the bottom of the body. Cold and lifeless, 18 year-old Benson Murray hung from the rope attached to the second-story landing, overlooking the great room with a golf-course view and now shattered picture-window.
He left no note, but had spent many years battling depression. Some of it coming from the taunts and harassment for being homosexual. Just two years earlier, as he went outside to go to work, he had to face derogatory epithets spray-painted on his car and driveway. Most likely from kids he passed in the hallways every day at his suburban high school:
“… but names will never hurt me.”
I’m not a soap-box person so I won’t belabor the point. Our culture seems to have turned from common-sense manners – most of the time – to rudeness, rage, and attacks on each other. The consequences can be devastating and can lead to alcohol abuse, chemical dependency, depression, self-mutilation, and possibly even suicide.
“Catch your breath,
Hit the wall,
Scream out loud,
As you start to crawl
Back in your cage
The only place
Where they will
Leave you alone.
‘Cause the weak will
Seek the weaker til they’ve broken them.”
Simon, from the group Lifehouse
How do we treat others – stereotype, build up, tear down?
What is our influence on those around us – family, friends, students, co-workers, etc?