Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Thursday Rant

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. 

Theodore Roosevelt

With the holidays right around the corner, I promised myself that only positive thoughts will do.  I've even put off all doctor's appointments until January because I don't want any bad news disrupting the season.  Of course, I will still take my tests in December, but  the results can wait. That is why I was hesitant to post this rant, but it is something weighing heavily in my mind and heart and is exactly the kind of thing that I really have to talk about or it will eat away at me.  Sometimes we have to get things off their chest.

I am sure many of you heard of this, but the other day some innocent man lost his life as he was on his way home from work. A man suffering from mental illness pushed him in the path of an incoming train because he would not 'get in line and wait for the R train'. (There is no such line.) It's sad, so so sad. 58 years old, married, with a teen-age daughter, and he is gone. I've learned to take precautions.  I'll never walk on a dark, deserted street, and as far as the subway is concerned,  I always stand with my back against the wall.  I learned a long time ago that standing at the edge and watching for it is not going to make the train come any faster. In the world we live in, when one goes to work in the morning, one has no guarantees of returning home at the end of the day.  That is why it is so important to live each day to the fullest.  

Take my job, for example.  I work in an outpatient substance abuse program in a building that is also a shelter that houses 300 homeless mentally ill clients, mostly men. And, because my organization wants clients to feel more comfortable and less like they are institutionalized, they have not set up metal detectors like every other well as the schools, courts, in the city.  In fact, we have no security whatsoever...which means that anyone can bring a gun or some other type of weapon into the building at any time...and then travel to any floor and begin shooting. I just happen to be the first one anyone sees when they come to our floor, so when I hear of these shootings across the country, the thought that it could happen here always crosses my mind.  But, I don't allow it to control my life.  If I let every little fear take over, I would never leave my home.

Sad as this episode is, it is made all the sadder because there were others on the platform, and no one made a move to help this man as he tried to climb up to the platform. Sure, while it is true that there was no time, not one person at least tried. One individual, a freelance photographer, stood there taking a picture of the poor man in his last seconds of life, and when confronted, stated that he felt the 'flash' would alert the conductor to stop the train.  Yeah, and I was born yesterday.  The guy chose to make a quick buck off a man's death rather than offer a helping hand. And shame on the newspaper for plastering the picture on the cover. Can you imagine what the man's family is already going through, and then seeing that? Even the perpetrator stood there and watched until the man died, yet no one tackled him to hold him for police.  They just watched as he walked off.  

And later, after they caught the perpetrator, a news reporter interviewed a woman vendor in the area who, mind you, was grinning from ear to ear like it was some joke, announced to the world that as soon as she saw the photo she knew exactly who the perpetrator was but did not inform the police because "I don't want to be a rat".  The correspondent asked, "But aren't you aware that he killed someone by pushing them in front of the train?"  She responded, "Yeah, but like I said.  I don't want to be a rat.  I figured they'd catch him sooner or later."  

Just makes me shake my head and wonder what this world is coming too.  If mankind can't help one another, how are we, as a civilization, to survive? It scares me that we have become such a cold, unfeeling society, that life is no longer as precious as a photo on a cell phone. Where has civilization gone wrong and is there reason to hope? I have to believe there is for without hope, there is no life.

In closing, please join me in the following prayer:

May there be peace on Earth, peace in the atmosphere and in the heavens. Peaceful be the waters and the plants. May the Divine bring us peace. May the holy prayers and invocations of peace liturgies generate ultimate Peace and Happiness everywhere. With these meditations which resolve and dissolve harm, violence and conflicts, we render peaceful whatever on earth is terrible, sinful, cruel and violent. Let the earth become fully auspicious, let everything be beneficial to us.


  1. that is terrible. i cant believe he took a picture. the prayer was beautiful...

  2. What is happening to us? Thank you for posting this prayer. I believe in group energy and fear that this may all the power we have now.

  3. I am with you in that prayer. I just shake my head at most humans nowadays. Makes my heart heavy. So, so sad. My heart goes to the family trying to get grips with their loss.

  4. Yes, this story is shocking people all over the world, isn't it?

  5. Horrendous incident compounded by useless people.

  6. I was also deeply disturbed and appalled when I heard about this story on just so many levels. Is there anything you can do at work, Mary with the voice of others for protection from possible harm? There must be something that can happen. Your peace prayer is beautiful...

  7. Read about that photographer, taking pics... Wondered if anyone tried to help the man......

    Oh my Dear, if only there was some way for you to get out of that city..... It sounds post-apocaliptical right now. (spelling of word?)

  8. A nutcase did kill a social worker in Lowell,MA a year or so ago.
    I'd say "be careful"( I know you are ) but there are always idiots out there who have no regard for life. (((hugs)))Pat