Wednesday, February 9, 2011


at thirty-three years old I went back to school.
I had changed directions in life and decided to earn a master's degree in social work, building upon my undergrad in business. yep, perfect combination.

I entered the program with the goal of learning to do individual and family therapy, and thought I'd end up with an LCSW, working in a cozy little office, helping people deal with challenges in their lives in a healthy way.

what I found instead is that I had a great and huge compassion for everyone, whatever their walk and status in life. I learned more than I wanted to know about marginalized populations, and learned that the only way to help people change and grow is to meet them where they are, then (hopefully) move from there. I learned about empowerment, I learned to view equality in a
different way.

one thing stressed to us all---regardless of our intended career---was that we had a social responsibility to get involved, to help effect needed change. we were taught that it wasn't okay to sit on the sidelines and keep our mouths shut. we were expected to be voices for those who cannot speak.

this was not my favorite part of school, for this is an uncomfortable place for me, a squirmy place. politics make my head spin, because it seems that those who work their way up into positions of political power are not those who see the world through eyes like mine. partisanship, the good 'ole boys club, and keeping big businesses happy are all things that make my skin crawl. I believe we all think we're rational human beings behaving in the best way we can, but I don't know how many of our politicians can even live on the same street with themselves.

my friend holly is my idol, for she dares to fight for what she believes in, and she finds a way to avoid being sucked down into the muck that lines the political arena. (see control-shift-backspace) I don't want to get anywhere near the place.

but ugliness arises in places outside of capitol hill, as well, and some grabbed onto my life last month and spun it around a time or two. two people I don't even know thrust themselves into my life, slandering me to a third and innocent party, committing a felony against me, spreading lies and distortions that were vicious and ugly.

this hurt, it was completely inappropriate and despicable, and it really ticked me off.
I could ignore it, or I could go hide under a rock. I could walk around filled with paranoia, shame, or suspicion, or I could just pretend that it's all okay and nothing bad really happened.

but instead, I keep hearing a gentle voice inside quote to me words uttered by edmund burke over two centuries ago:

all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I qualify as a good person, and what these two people did qualifies as evil. recalling my school days, then, causes me to lean away from ignoring their actions and move instead toward some form of recourse. they need to recognize and acknowledge the evilness of their behavior. they need to be confronted and made aware of the harm they caused.

they need to apologize, and they also need to learn that their apology will never right the wrong they did. I can (and will) forgive, but I also hope that this repercussion sits inside them forever as a kind of thorn, and hopefully, a lesson learned.

now I can't know that this will happen. but if I don't make the attempt, then I am letting evil triumph, which is the last thing in the world that our world needs.

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