Good morning, I hope everyone is well today. I am doing pretty good the morning after my birthday. I did not do much in the way of celebrating. I went to dinner with some good friends and that was nice. But overall this was not how I expected to be spending my 40th birthday week. I had envisioned a trip to the Oregon Coast and staying in a nice beach house or something along those lines but that did not happen.
I am going to do my best to not dwell on my family problems or keep going back to what is going on in my life but I ask you to bear with me because there are going to be times when that kind of thing just happens. It may happen more over this month with the holidays and everything going on. I just hope that I do not bore you with my complaining.
I heard an incredibly sad story this morning on the radio it was about the 15 year old girl in Richmond California who was gang raped outside of her homecoming dance earlier this year. The NPR show talked about the town itself and had a reporter who had grown up there go back to Richmond and talk to a few people including a couple of the students from the school itself. One of the students said "We do not want this to define us." My first thought was I can understand that but when a girl gets attacked for two hours and no one calls the police or even tries to intervene it is hard to not blame the whole school and the town for what went on.
The talked to a school councilor who said that in places that are poor or hard scrabble that it is easy to pick someone as an other and that they lose their humanity. That this often happens where men gather. She used that phrase twice. "Where men gather." I am not sure what she meant by that. Are all men to blame for the actions of a few young men? Anywhere there is injustice or crime in the world rape happens. That does not excuse it nor does it make all men culpable for the actions of a few men. Are all men just a few steps away from being a rapist if the opportunity strikes? I hope not. I certainly do not think that I would be capable of such an act. In fact I am unable to imagine myself being so out of control that this would happen.
So who is to blame? Do we blame society? Do we blame the families of the boys? Do we blame the girl for how she was dressed? Or MTV? Do we get philosophical and blame the fallen nature of man? Maybe the boys are just bad apples and regardless of their upbringing would have been rapists at some point. We all know that rape is not a crime committed solely by the poor. But what drives a person to cross that line?
These are the thoughts in my head today as I ride along on the train. These are not fun thoughts but they are my thoughts. It makes me sad that people are victimized all over the world for all kinds of reasons and I know that the only one whose behavior I can be sure of controlling is myself. I just hope I can be a member of society that gives back and does not take away. I hope we all can be that person and we all can look out for others who are being preyed upon and hurt. If we can all do these things then maybe just maybe we can make the world a little better for those around us.