Day 17 Question 17:
Why do important things sometimes slip through the cracks?
I wish I could answer this question. I really do. My only guess is that people have become so lazy and choose to no longer take personal responsibility because they no longer care. It is a vague question but a really important one. I have been alive for 33 years now and I have seen (on the news of course-well some things I have seen up close and personal) gunman shoot and kill numbers of innocent people. I have seen medical staff workers physically and verbally abusing their patients. I have seen young people commit suicide. You may now ask what has slipped through the cracks with these things I speak of? Why have these people chosen what they have chosen?
I have been watching a lot of documentaries lately. I tend to dive into a lot of nonfiction books and documentaries because they keep my mind stimulated and make me more aware of what is going on in the world around me when I am unable to experience certain things first hand. This stuff gives me a grip on reality, even when reality can be really depressing or scary. People’s voices are not being heard. Unimaginable injustices are taking place everyday and our laws and government are allowing it to happen. I have always liked the book 1984 but I never realized until the last couple of years how Big Brother really is watching all of us. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of these anti-government, crazy hippies. I just think we are living by a set of rules that may no longer apply. Society is moving at a rapid pace but our laws and rules aren’t moving along with it. We, as a society are being controlled like puppets, and we are allowing it to happen. We sit back and talk about everything is wrong but we do nothing, we allow others to take action. We all have a voice and I don’t know why more people don’t use theirs in constructive ways. I can get lazy just like anyone else but I think even this “little” blog is an impact because it is getting my voice out there. It is stirring up discussions. I meet brilliant people day in and day out that choose to do nothing and these are the people that could make the greatest impacts. I would like to think I am a pretty positive person. I try to see the good in everyone (sometimes this is hard as hell and sometimes I am unable to). I will be honest and say though that I think our world has such great problems and it is angering and depressing because us as a population have put us in this state. I hate that so many people no longer care. So many people give up the fight (i.e. fighting for what they believe in). Yes I realize fighting for what you believe in is what causes wars and destruction. When I say what I say, what I mean is I don’t understand (and I guess this is one of the things that could be added to my last blog) how people can feel nothing and truly not care about others. I have done bad things and my actions have been selfish but I have been overwhelmed with guilt and self-loathing because of my actions that were undesirable. I believe this was my punishment and trust me this IS punishment. I believe to this day I still need to make amends with certain people if I want to feel at ease. But that is a different subject. There are people in the world that can hurt others and demean others and belittle others and feel no guilt. They can continue their lives day by day and be completely content with their actions. Why do these people think that these actions are ok? Is part of it because people aren’t doing their jobs? Why are parents not beating it into their children’s heads that being polite and respectful to people is the only option? Why are television networks broadcasting reality shows that blatantly reward bad behavior (for example Bad Girls Club-these girls cuss, fight, and berate other people and they are put up in a luxurious home for free and are driven to bars and clubs in a limousine).
I guess this question is kind of along the lines as my previous question. I tend to hold onto a lot of my thinking when I answer a question and it streamlines right into the next post. Anyhooooo, going back to how and why things/situations in our society slip through the cracks. Last night I watched a documentary entitled Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed. This documentary focused on a live-in facility for individuals with severe learning disabilities. I will share with you the synopsis I found on the website (www.topdocumentaryfilms.com)…which by the way is an awesome website:
On the top floor of a special hospital, locked away from their families and friends, a group of men and women are subjected to a regime of physical assaults, systematic brutality, and torture by the very people supposed to be caring for them.
The victims are some of the most vulnerable in society – the learning disabled, the autistic, and the suicidal. In a Panorama Special, Paul Kenyon exposes the truth about a gang of carers out of control, and how the care system ignored all the warning signs.
Joe Casey spent five weeks filming undercover in a private care hospital on the outskirts of Bristol after getting a job as a support worker. He was shocked by what he witnessed.
Police in Bristol have arrested four people after secret filming by BBC Panorama found a pattern of serious abuse at a residential hospital.
I am beyond shocked when I finished watching this documentary. Paul Kenyon applied for the job once he had caught wind of the abuse taking place. He had several hidden cameras (2 on his person) throughout the facility. What took place was unimaginable. The staff at this residential facility were absolute monsters and they found humor and comedy in torturing these patients. I watched on staff member (a young, very tattooed man-they stated that his goal was to become a licensed tattoo artist-and he proved he had no interest in working where he was) pin a woman underneath a chair for 30 minutes while stepping on her hands so she was unable to get up. This was a woman that did not act out aggressively or provoke this at all. I watched several staff members take patients to the ground. This is supposed to be the absolute last resort when it comes to these patients and if they are restrained they are to only be restrained for the most minimal time possible. These people would be restrained for several minutes (up to 30 minutes). One woman was brought outside in freezing cold temperatures and had water poured over her. The video showed her laying on the ground speechless and shaking. This woman is severely learning disabled and she was being treated like a barn animal. Another male patient, who was tested and determined that he functioned at a 4 yr old level, was put into a headlock and was kicked and restrained by staff. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. It was beyond disturbing and absolutely horrifying. A former employee quit his job because of what was taking place there. He sent a long detailed email about the abuse to the highest management officials in the company as well as to the government (I am unsure of what it is called in this part of Europe but it would be on the same level of a state house or high up government official). He emailed on 3 or 4 occassions and each and everyone of his emails was ignored. Not one person of authority took action to stop what was happening. These people’s lives were being put in jeopardy everyday and the emotional and psychological damage was increasing every moment. It absolutely disgusted me. How could something so horrifying be blatantly ignored? Why did NO ONE find this to be a pressing matter and rush to save these people? If Joe Casey had not found out about this place and recorded these secret videos and blown open this entire situation, these people could STILL be living in this form of hell every single day. The entire matter is currently being investigated and several of the patients have been pulled out of the facility. What came as an absolute shock though is that the staff members that were guilty of this day in day out abuse were only suspended…not fired or jailed…just suspended. These monsters could be put back into the workforce, in a similar environment and start the abuse all over for other innocent victims. This is the kind of situation that slips through the cracks and it only societal ignorance that is to blame. It is so sad. :0(
A swarm of different incidences flood through my thoughts. I think about Phoebe Prince. The young girl that was bullied so badly that she decided to take her own life. This young girl came to the United States from Ireland (brought by her parents) and all she was looking for was a fresh start at a new school. All she got was nonstop torture. She was called a “slut” and a whore” regularly. She had objects thrown at her and it was even reported that during this time she was sexually assaulted. She cried out for help. She told her parents that school was intolerable and when the matter was introduced to faculty members, it was brushed under the rug and supposedly “these kind of things happen everyone, it just needs to pass.” Nothing ever got better for Phoebe Prince and she took her own life. Staff in her school library witnessed her being bullied the same day she took her own life and did absolutely nothing about it. After she took her own life, one of the female bullies wrote “Accomplished” as her Facebook status. Something like this should have NEVER happened and I just cannot understand how it did. I don’t understand how the people that outright ignored her cries for help can live with themselves. I guess I cannot understand how there are people in this world so heartless in cruel that have no conscience. How do people feel nothing? How could her bully feel proud of her actions after someone her same age took their life due to her actions?
I wish I had the answers. I wish I had the solution but we are all each such individual, unique creatures and it is impossible to understand all of the things inside us that make us tick. I suffer from anxiety sometimes (it has been on the level of severe on occasion), I sometimes feel so mentally unbalanced and out of wack but never in my life has harming myself or harming others been an option. I have hated the government at times and the rules and regulations we have to abide by in order to be “free” and living in a country called the “United” Stated when we are anything but united but my frustrations have never even triggered a thought to harm others in order to make a point. That would solve nothing. I am only one person. I can have an impact on the world in different ways but I cannot change the world all by myself and if I were to go on a rampage killing people, I surely wouldn’t be able to change anything. The boys from Columbine High School and the young man from VA Tech obviously had mental issues. It is beyond unfortunate that no one was able to get to them before both great tragedies occurred. They were all sending a message and those messages came too late with far too many lives lost.
We are all on this earth walking around like a herd of elephants just trying to figure it all out. This is a big statement, but I believe it to some extent, society is failing us. We have become so lazy and so complacent (obviously I am not speaking for everyone in the world-it’s a general statement) and we no longer care to take the time. Technology is driving us and we are losing all grip on personal relationships and we could not possibly need personal relationships more than we need them now. I wish people (including myself-I am trying like hell) would just slow down and take a look around. Have you helped a stranger out lately for no good reason? Have you had an actual conversation in person or on the telephone with an old friend as opposed to just texting? Have you taken the time to just listen to someone knowing they needed someone to just hear them? Life is full of a variety of people and they are all so interesting. Each and every person has their own story to tell but with us losing all forms of human contact we are missing out on these amazing stories. I wish life was not headed in this direction. I feel like I need to work hard and do something big but I haven’t quite put my finger on it. I stay busy between working 2 jobs and working on my Masters Degree but I feel like I need to figure out time to spread my voice and ideas. I feel like I just need to talk with young people so they can take focus off the superficial and focus on their dreams and see everything the world has to offer outside of all of the trends and fashions. I just want to talk to young people so I can understand where they are coming from. Maybe this would give me a better insight about myself, why the world is the way it is today and it might stir up some ideas to make some improvements-even if they are only in my small corner of the world. The world is so much bigger than me and young people think the world is beyond bigger than that. So many of them don’t realize how important their voices, thoughts and opinions really are. Life does not always need an agenda. Sometimes people just need to be heard without judgment or ridicule. They just need to talk to get their feelings out of them because it is getting to the point of painful. If you are reading this, and I hope you are, starting today are you willing to lend and open ear?