4.26.2008

On Loss, Grief, And Being Broken



I don’t believe I’ll ever make for a very good “modern day” American. And for that matter, I’ll probably never make for a very good citizen of the world at large. At least the world “we” (don’t ask me exactly who the “we” is comprised of because I couldn’t tell you) are currently constructing.

By now you should know that I believe any society can be judged by not what it says but by what it does, how it lives out its said beliefs.

What story is America telling itself and the rest of the world when we put our elderly people in “retirement homes”, far away from the hustle and bustle of the younger and more “productive” members of this society? We don’t have time for our elders so we pay others to “take care” of them for us. What we lose in doing this is perhaps not immediately apparent but has devastating long-term affects on the social capital of our society. We miss out on their stories, their wisdom, their love and their values. As well, we miss out on a chance to share our lives with them.

I mourn this loss.

What story is America telling about its people when over 48 million of its citizens are literally afraid of getting sick or hurt? They are not simply afraid of sickness because of the toll it takes on the body, they are afraid of sickness or injury because of the potential financial bondage it will put them simply by receiving treatment. Half of all bankruptcies in America are due to medical bills. That number is growing.

Why does the country with the largest economy in the world punish its citizens with debt for falling ill? What does that say about how we as a people value each other?

This not only grieves but also baffles me.

And the last question is a bit more personal, not something everyone may be currently experiencing. What will become of the hundreds of thousands of young women and men across America who are looking for someone older, someone who has “gone before them”, to guide them, to mentor them, to help them navigate this rapidly shifting world? What happens to them when their search leads only to frustration from the lack of life giving mentorship to be found from sea to shining sea?

Where are our role models? On T.V.? In the Whitehouse? Who do we look to for advice and guidance given in a sane and loving manner? The people I need guidance from are too busy struggling to pay off debts or keep up with the Jones's to even have the energy much less time to care for the walls I keep running into.

You cannot ask an empty soul to pour out what it does not have.

This last question causes me not only to mourn and feel much grief; this last question has broken me.

4 Comments:

Blogger Wes said...

...amazing post

...thank you

...from one who is almost 66yo and committing the rest of my days to mentoring in a way that encourages deep change and whole-life transformation

...you have a gift, Corey, keep writing!

...I've added you to my RSS feed, if you don't mind

Wes Roberts
Leadership Design Group
17053 Hastings Avenue
Parker, Colorado 80134

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What is Leadership Design Group about?

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to step off one road
onto another more promising one.
The courage to act
depends upon the strength
one has gathered,
the dares one has dared,
and sometimes
just because one was loved.

...Maya Angelou

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http://wesroberts.typepad.com/wes/

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...and now I'm also on FaceBook...

6:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Nice post Corey,

Luckily, not everyone treats the elderly as some sort of nuisance, but as a generation to be cherished.

thanks for speaking your mind, and not numbing yourself to the problems around you..
its harrowing what we've done with this beautiful world we've been given.

Take care of yourself,

Laura

3:13 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

Thanks Laura and Wes. Good to hear from the both of you.

10:33 PM  
Blogger wilsonian said...

"The people I need guidance from are too busy struggling to pay off debts or keep up with the Jones's to even have the energy much less time to care for the walls I keep running into."

Imho Corey, these folks are not the ones you need guidance from. You will learn best from those who avoid debt, who aren't deluded into buying their way to comfort, who are busy loving on the Joneses, but not so busy they can't invite you along.

Just a thought :)

6:56 PM  

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