I have been mulling this post over in my mind for hours. I'm still not sure just what I want to say or how I want to say it.
There's a woman in California I've come to know in the last year or two. Her son is an addict. She wrote this post today. It seems a friend of her son Over Dosed. Someone she knows. Someone who has stayed in her home. More than once. "To know Gilbert is to love him". That's what she said. That's what other people said. About him. Her son said, "You have to be prepared for this to happen when you live this lifestyle."
That struck me. That gives me pause - and a question or two.
Do addicts think so little of themselves that they are willing to, expect to, are prepared to, die? Do they think so little of those around them that the pain their survivors experience, and will experience, makes no difference to them? Or is their view of themselves and those around them so distorted that they have no idea just how much pain is associated with them and their bad habits?
Or are they just plain selfish.
Somebody needs to explain this to me. Because I don't understand how loving, caring parents grow drug addicts - and yet other loving, caring parents grow loving, caring offspring who don't - who never - do drugs.
Maybe it's environment. Maybe it's this culture, this grand and glorious place we've created for our kids where everything is easy - handed to them - or too damn hard - crime ridden - poverty stricken. It might be some of that, I suppose.
I know three wonderful young men who grew up with none of the things we get here - we have here - handed to them. Their playground was the rainforest. They had to shoo scorpions and tarantulas from their beds on occasion, so they could lay their un-airconditioned heads down to sleep. More often than not they wore no shoes - because none were required. No sidewalks where they lived. Bright green parrots flew through the trees of their home, their Waterpark was a sloping waterfall in a stream in the forest. They play guitar rather than watch TV. They sing and read and love their Mom and Dad and Life, passionately.
They don't do drugs.
I think maybe we should all go back and live in the jungle. Learn about the Earth. Learn how to live - learn how all things live - learn to respect what we have - what we are given - learn how to treasure the simple things in life - learn how to live without batteries.
These three young men? They know how to live. They know how to treat each day, each creature, each book, each song, with the respect it deserves.
I wish they could teach me what they know. Because I think maybe, if I were to ask them, they could probably tell me the answers to all the questions I have.
I'll bet they could.