I just got back from vacation stateside. Stacy's wedding was amazing (i've even got pictures up) and just being back in the states was nice. But I've been back in Gitmo for twelve hours now and have come to a realization. I love Gitmo... not because it's the greatest place in the world to live, but rather, because it gives me something to care about.
Obviously there are things (namely social issues) that you can care about stateside. But very few people do.
Exhibit A... When I was in Norfolk I was driving my Suburban, with my mom and two little brothers in it, down Church Street at 930 at night. Next thing we know six shots get fired off (that didn't sound like they came from an airsoft gun) on the other side of the row of houses next to us, or at the least damn close. The next day on the news I find out that what we heard was a 16 year old boy was shot to death in that same area. Want to know how much time they spent on that story on the news? Less than the time it's taking you to read this paragraph.
It shouldn't be commonplace that these things are happening! It should upset us, and instill some sense of immediacy that something ought to be done. Now I feel terrible because the only thing to cross my mind after hearing the story was a very selfish, "it's good we got out safe". (i also feel terrible about the fact that i put my little brothers any where near something like that) Humans don't care outside of our own bubbles! If I were being considerate I would have at least thought about the kids' family.
Down here though, there's a sense of immediacy. Almost daily I hear stories about the guys who work behind the fence having literal shit thrown at them, spit at, threatened with weapons. It makes me care. I care about these guys and their well-being, safety. It gets my adrenaline going and makes me desperately want to be able to kick a detainee in the head... or to make it possible for the people working back there to do it! Suddenly, I'm compelled to actually feel like I'm living... not just plodding along. There's more of a purpose to my job than just slinging beer, I'm one of eight bartenders down here who gives these people a place to relax and not have stuff thrown at them.
Even if your life or your family aren't being immediately threatened you should feel blessed to be where you are. Somewhere around you there's a risk that someone else is taking that makes your life a little cooshier (phonetically that would be koosh-ee-er). Whether it's a policeman, fireman, EMT, local volunteer at the soup kitchen, the goodwill lady... you name it. There are people out there who take do things so that the rest of us can sit around and hear about it on the news. Somebody will make that 16 yr old's mother a casserole and help her plan the funeral... they're taking a risk by stepping beyond their own bubble to help another human being who's having a rough time. It doesn't matter about the valence of the risk... the point is it's being taken!
Some people are even passionate about risk taking... i.e. the peace corps, missionaries, some military personnel. They literally make it their job to help other people out, to be considerate and sometimes to lay down there lives and try to stop those new stories from showing up so often. And these passionate people are often considered anomalys, like there's something wrong with them. No, there's nothing wrong with them... there's something wrong with the rest of us.
I will concede that sometimes there is simply nothing you can do. Although you can always write a letter to your Senator, and whether he reads it or not you'll still get a letter back and the sense that you at least tried. Trying is what separates the lackadaisical sheep from the men.
In other news, Michael Moore makes me want to vomit. This movie "Sicko" is ridiculous. He took a group of people to the one place in Cuba where there's any kind of health care system... and then he strategically cut out all of the footage (or maybe just didn't take it) of what i've been told Cuba is really like. He portrays the health care in Cuba like it's the greatest system in the world. Now, Mr. Moore, can you explain to me why a Cuban was willing to lose both his legs to come over the American side if Cuba is so great? Why would this man swim through barbed-wire, voluntarily want to be around us heathen Capitalists, and literally lose his legs if he had it so good on the Communist side? For the record, he's not the only one who wants in.
Again, I will make a slight concession. Health Care in America is no where near perfect... but neither is it in Canada. Do you know how long you have to wait to be treated for anything in a socialist health care system? Unless of course you've got a camera crew behind you. You can't call and make appointments in Cuba, you have to walk in and pray that you're the early bird. Michael Moore oversimplifies life elsewhere. He's not going to change America by lying to us all. Open your own eyes and see for yourself. Mr. Moore's telephoto lens is skewed worse than Bill O'Reilly's on a bad day... which can get pretty ridiculous sometimes.
And in completely unrelated news... I have offically gotten rid of a person who made me feel like a selfish-self conscious-vengeful-insecure-spoiled little princess. Don't keep people in your life who make you feel like that... you're worth it, they're not. Now that i've written you a whole book, if you made it this far... Congratulations. If you made it this far and actually read the whole thing I sincerely hope it was worth your time. Good night, sleep sweet, and please don't be a lackadaisical sheep.