"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Home is Where...
(This week's Blogger Idol topic is "Home." I had already intended to write a column today on the topic I will address, and this will help to bring it into the sharp focus I think it deserves. In any event, this topic deserves a far better treatment than I would ever be capable of.)
rape Function: noun
1 : an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
2 : unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent
3 : an outrageous violation
4 : Hidden, down your street or maybe even in your own home.
I stand on my porch, looking down the street at the nice middle class homes that have just been washed clean by the spring rain. And I feel like I want to throw up.
My mind keeps showing me pictures of the children who live on my street and the families that I see driving by in their cars. The smiles, the joyful laughing, the perfect lifestyles.
I've been doing some research, and from what I have been able to find as many as one out of four of these perfect families may be hiding a horrible secret.
That's how many children, by many accounts, are raped and abused before they reach the age of 18.
One out of four. Let that sink in a moment. Count the homes on your street. One, two, three, rape. One, two, three, rape.
Worse, eighty percent of these will be raped and molested by either a parent or a close family member. That means in about one out of six families, one or the other or both parents prey on and abuse their children.
I look down my street and I want to throw up.
What a horrible burden we are placing on an entire generation! And what a terrible outrage, an evil secret, are we perpetuating.
How did we possibly get to the place where such a thing would be occurring, even in the "privacy" of our homes? How did such an unspeakable act gain acceptance to the point where a quarter of us would do it to our own children??!?
I am angry to my very core. What evil lives among us. And we never see it. It drives down our street, goes to school with our children, shops beside us in the grocery stores, goes to church with us.
And devours our children while we blissfully ignore its existence.
Welcome home, kid. Welcome home.
When I can no longer bear to think of the victims of broken homes, I begin to think of the victims of intact ones.
Peter De Vries