Zeit und Tag

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why We Don't Take the Time

A 15 year old girl died in my town. She had battled cancer for a year. She was the youngest of five children. Her family was very poor. Her home was broken when she was 8. Her mother went through a bad time, so the children were sent to their father. They were all very intelligent, good students who worked hard. The girls were artistic as well. This girl had won prizes for her art. She was a straight A student. She was diagnosed when undergoing a physical so she could try out for soccer. She had a chance for a bright future. When she got sick, there was no article in the newspaper. There was no fundraiser to help the family, like there was for a more popular, better connected girl a few years earlier who was about the same age. There was no outpouring of public sympathy and support. Few people knew at all. The cancer was a rare form of muscle cancer. By the time it was even diagnosed, the doctors knew it was too late. She did get a Make a Wish trip to the Bahamas, but no one outside the family knew. She came home from the hospital, to die at home, eight hours later. When she died, the paper wrote up a big article. They had to now, because everyone would see the obituary and for a moment think, how sad, what a tragedy, why didn’t we know. The wake was the next day, and the funeral the following. Then it was all over. At work someone mentioned how sad it all was. Who will think of her again? Who will reach out to the next child? Americans have their reasons not to consider tragedies. Most are too busy, or it doesn’t really affect them. Life just goes on and too many people act more and more like robots, functioning but not caring, doing, but not thinking, acting, but not feeling. There is no time to do those things.

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