I’m sitting on my couch right now, taking a rest after running non-stop since Saturday. I feel like I am over-run, fatigued from the three consecutive workouts, and not getting enough sleep. I’ve definitely cut my food intake in half (at the very least), and I think my system is just in a huge transition right now. I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
In English 12 Honors, I’m teaching Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, and we’ve been talking a lot about the braided essay, the author’s intent in how he constructs the essay, and how accessible he has made the content to the readers. The seniors, for the most part, love the book, and our discussions have been pretty solid.
What stays with me, though (or, as O’Brien would write, “What I carry with me,”), is a strong desire to be that catcher in the rye for anyone and everyone. This is not something new; I’ve been like this all my life, and when I was that 17-year-old kid sitting in Mike DeVita’s English class thinking about Holden Caulfield, I wanted to save others from losing innocence, from initiation, from pain, from heartache.
I’ve taken some steps in my life to be that catcher for some groups. It’s not enough, though. Sometimes I feel like we’re just scratching the surface. You want to know the truth? The real truth? I think it is damn sick that we have to spend so much energy fighting others and trying to get support when we could be directing that energy directly into helping others. It shouldn’t have to be this hard.
The latest concern, though, stems from what I am hearing over the police/fire scanner. I feel so helpless, and yet it seems like there are solutions — easy solutions that we could put into place to help those in need.
For example: This weekend, I followed this developing story of these two girls, ages 12 and 13, who went into a stranger’s car near their school. A friend of theirs decided not to get into the car, and the car pulls away.
The police do their best to search for the car, but they have little to go on. They go up and down the main roads, searching in hotel/motel parking lots for the car. Nothing.
Twenty-four hours later, the girls are found wandering on a nearby street. They have been raped and assaulted and are just trying to find their way home.
Another example: This afternoon, a student from a local college needs a ride home and decides to get a lift from a stranger. She promises her friend that she will stay on the phone until she gets home. Instead, though, the friend hears her say, “Hey–where are you taking me?”
The phone goes dead, and when her friend calls back, the call dumps into voice mail. Every single time.
She’s still missing.
There’s got to be something we can do, isn’t there? Can’t there be a group on call to blanket local communities when things like this happen? If we can do flash mobs and make national news in a matter of minutes, why can’t we descend upon a local neighborhood and smother it so that the molesters and rapists get caught minutes after the abduction is reported?
I’m throwing more energy into my Lines of Love movement and do all I can to catch those kids. Although I know I’ll never be content in not helping some of these other kids, I’ll continue to do my best to let all teens know that they are not alone.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t put on your catcher’s mitt and see what you can do. I know that so many of you already do this, but maybe you have a chance to do something even more.
Do it. Do that something more for those kids who need our help. I just can’t stand the thought of another child facing the horrors of these evil bastards in our world.