We have an expression around here: "swimming in lake so and so." As in "swimming in lake Missy" when I dominate the conversation and turn it back to me. We all do it. I know I do it all the time. I have a blog for crying out loud, what's more self absorbed than that? It's funny how someone who prides herself on being so aware of others can be so blind. Well, I've vowed to pay attention from now on.
At our reunion I was talking my friend about a high school acquaintance who apparently had a terrible life. We never knew. How can you see someone day in and day out and not know they are in pain and suffering? Some days we seem to exhist in separate bubbles rolling along beside each other, but never seeing what's right there.
This idea really hit home when I read the news about the little girl who was abducted at age 11 and held captive for 18 years. I read that news report last night and just sat there and shook and cried. What if that was my beautiful girl? The thing that I don't understand (not being judgemental, here), but how did no one? They weren't out in the middle of nowhere. There were neighbors. I guess one even called the police, but they (the police) saw nothing. I think this is a case of seeing what you want to see, being too busy and too overloaded to stop and look. I can think of countless examples of this going on even in my town, my neighborhood, my school. I am not trying to start a dialogue about people's ideas about criminals and the horrific things they do. What I want us to do is pay attention.
When the kids get out of hand and we feel overwhelmed, Rob and I will pause and remind each other to watch out for the other parent. We've got each other's back. What if we applied that philosophy to our community? Instead of considering it to not be your problem, offer help. Don't be nosy, but take care of each other. I know that I am going to try harder, look outside of my daily grind and offer help. We all need it now more than ever.