Last night I had this very weird dream….I dreamed I was in a huge moral dilemma I can’t for the life of me remember what it was I just woke feeling the weight of the world on my back. In trying to figure out what the dream meant and what I was thinking about that could actually cause me to have a visceral feeling that I had not made the “right” choice as I awoke. I think back to the dinner conversation last night.
My husband’s aunt and uncle came for dinner; they are extremely well educated, philanthropic, wonderful people who like a good discussion. We talked about the Penn State Child Abuse story, and that then lead to thinking back to Cain and Able, the beginnings of the Catholic Church and how far back abuse of children really goes.
It made me feel overwhelmed. It made me think about my life’s work protecting children through our prevention education programs. Is child abuse just always going to be around? Are we making a difference? I think back to what my husband’s uncle has said to me “You are doing amazing work, but you are not going to be able to save the world and you have to understand that so it doesn’t affect every part of your life.”
I knew what he meant, to be honest this is not the first time those very words have been said to me. There is a apart of me that thinks if I don’t do everything I can then who is? I know that’s ridiculous – there are so many other amazing organizations similar to KidSafe Foundation that are doing extraordinary work to help protect children and deal with the aftermath of abuse and the healing process.
All I can think is that despite my job as a psychotherapist decades ago in which I treated women who had been physically and sexually abused and heard stories that haunt me to this day, this Penn State Cover up of Abuse has hit me hard. Why is it hitting me so hard when I read stories every day about child abuse?
The only answer I can come up with is my disappointment in people and their moral compass. The anger I feel towards even the students who went outside Joe Paterno’s home in “support” of him, the man who could have saved children from being abused by the monster Jerry Sandusky. I am actually annoyed with the human race, and even as I read what I just wrote I know it might sound ridiculous to some people reading this blog.
Our children are the future leaders of this world and right now at this moment they are learning that; “It’s okay to turn a blind eye when a child is being harmed,” “Money is more important than the safety of children,” “that our beloved sports heroes have more say when a crime is committed than the police who have sworn to support and protect us?” Is this the kind of world you want your children and grandchildren and future children to be living in?
I know I don’t, and that is why I will continue to try to prevent children from being harmed. I will continue to educate adults and I just ask that you join us in our efforts, because although we used to say it takes a village to keep children safe, it actually takes each and every individual to look inside themselves and ask: “If I was a child being harmed , would I want someone to just turn away?” If it was my child or grandchild would I want someone to help?” Even as an adult “If someone was harming you, would you want help? I think we would all unanimously say “YES!” So all we can ask is from this day forward, if you suspect a child is being harmed, reach inside yourself and ask yourself these questions and help that child. They are counting on you to do the right thing…and so am I.