There I was driving on Interstate-80, tired, hungry, and above all else – thirsty. I had just finished an ACLS class where I’ve been for the past two days learning how to save the lives of my fellow humankind. The radio was tuned to NPR where Ira Glass was talking to some guy about rubber duckies that somehow floated away into the Pacific Ocean never to be played with again. But I was not listening, I was hardly hearing the radio at all. Like most days when I have a long drive ahead of me, I go into auto-pilot: my hands and eyes are directing the car towards home, safely and legally, while my mind blurs and focuses on matters miles away from my body.
On this particular drive, my mind wandered to a book by Yann Martel. I read “beatrice and virgil” many months ago, but there was a scene from that book that suddenly popped into my head. In vivid detail, Yann Martel describes the plight of several Jewish women running away from their Nazi aggressors, and in their struggle to flee they are caught in a river and could go no further. They were surrounded by Nazis from all sides, their only solace was the river water flowing waisthigh. One by one, they drowned themselves – because death was far better than being caught in the evil hands of those Nazis. Tears welled up in my eyes, and as they rolled down my cheeks I was suddenly triggered back to my car – still heading home, and still driving safely, Ira Glass still talking away on the radio. But I continued to cry and I found myself asking the whys and whats, unanswerable question directed to the heavens, asking God for whatever FAITH I have left in him.
What makes one human being want to hurt another human? What makes a person like me want to spend hours learning how to save a stranger, while another goes to great lengths to kill another? It makes no sense to me when humans are risking life and limb to save lives in Japan, while other human are losing life and limb to destroy other lives in Libya. How can I help? Where to I start? What is the root of all this evil?????
Usually when my emotions are up-heaved and the adrenaline is pumping and passions are running high – I push my Superhero button and my mind and body is deluded into thinking I have superpowers. The energy allows me to run faster, think clearer, and do almost the impossible – just like how I saved that mannequin in my ACLS class during a mega code. I truly, truly want to do something to nurse this grief in my heart, make a difference and become a stronghold in the face of evil. I want to give to humanitarian causes. I want to fly to inner city neighborhoods and plant my skills and knowledge in the soils of despair and crime. I want to do something…anything…and everything.
I am capable. I am willing.
But I am not available. There is a dark and evil force that is too strong to break right now, because I am in auto-pilot and I am being directed to follow my daily routines and sub-routines in order to function within prescribed parameters. I have to get home and give the dog a bath, clean the house, go shopping, then pick up the girls from day care.
My tears have drained away for now but the grief remains. My questions remain, and the answers are waiting for my searching soul. I will be available to go on that quest, right after all the planned and random routines have been acted away, and little ones successfully sent to sweet slumber. I will again explore my superhero button and battle the cobwebs of sleep to find that root of evil and axe it away.