I have a hard time processing cruelty. It doesn't make sense to me. It never has. Even as an anthropology student, I was not good at separating my personal values from what I was seeing if something ran counter to my sense of decency.
So earlier this week, I saw some news footage that had me putting myself in everyone's place to try to understand why people acted the way they did. What started out as a writerly five-finger exercise has turned into a short story.
It's not my usual silliness. It's very dark.
The research, however, took me down an interesting rabbit hole of sorts. I had to research babies. I have now seen babies' first baths, babies getting cleaned right after they're born, babies crying, babies laughing, healthy babies, sick babies, genius babies, and the things babies go through after they make their debut in this world. (Shots on each leg first thing? No wonder they cry!)
One thing that occurred to me while watching this was how vulnerable the care of these these little guys are to decisions made by people who are not clinicians. During the course of my internet tourism into Babyland, I also saw some not so cute and cuddly things that are the result of lack of care for babies before and after they're born.
To those who don't understand that women's and children's health is not just about birth control: If you're going to demand nativity, you need to be prepared to provide care. You need to be mindful of what quality of life means for everyone. Cutting preventative care is penny-wise and pound-foolish.
It's also unkind.
Since most of the people who would support those cuts also self-identify as Christians, I ask you to employ a bit of witness wear wisdom: WWJD?
What would Jesus do? Let's roll the tape:
Matthew 25:35-40 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
"35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’"
Even if you're not Christian, it would be pretty hard to not like Jesus. To steal a line from Edie McClurg's character in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," he's a righteous dude! So seeing Jesus in everyone is not a bad way to look at humanity. We all should be doing this, every one of us, from top to bottom.
copyright 2017 Jas Faulkner/Zen Dixie