Given: life is full of unexpected twists and turns.
This given makes the surprises no less surprising, though. Wrapping up my third summer in Hartford for my Montessori training, I woke up to violation. Someone in the early hours of the morning broke into our townhouse and made off with two cars, a laptop and other personal items. I was awake when this happened, three floors up. I heard a sound and assumed it was one my roommates getting up.
Stage 1. This is my fault.
I was up in the middle of the night. I went outside. Did I leave my key outside? Is that how the person got in?
Stage 2. This is all their fault.
Where was security? Why weren’t they patrolling? Why don’t the cops patrol through here.
Stage 3: This is only one person’s fault.
The person who took things. Sure, other people may have made mistakes in terms of security or whatever, but the person who took our stuff? Did not make a mistake. They made a choice, and that makes all the difference.
Stage 3 is where I’m at today. So, today, Stage 3 is where the truth lies.
The breaking of laws is not the only thing that makes criminality so unbearable. It’s the effect on the people t violated. We are plunged into a quagmire of questions, guilt, blame… someone must be held responsible!! And when the responsible party, the criminal, is not available, we will grasp at any other possibility — focusing our fury at the first available entity.
Crimes, though, are always the fault of criminals. I now understand that some people will find a way. No matter how careful you or those charged with your protection try to be.
We’re acclimated to expect a justice that’s built on an eye for an eye. You stole my stuff, therefore you deserve to go to jail. This justice, even if it can happen, is empty. It is a hollow promise of a return to normalcy. It does not restore you. It does not put the pieces back together that were once your sense of security. Nothing can change the feeling I have knowing that I was one cup of coffee or tea away from walking in on this person while they were stealing our stuff. I don't dwell on this point, but I am aware of it.
There is no restoration - no return to what once was. And it is disappointing to realize that there is no immediate justice in a situation like this. There is only exercising a great deal of putting the pieces of your hope, security and faith back together. There’s only hoping the fragments of that light stick until they form a suitable replacement for what once was.
This is going to be okay.
We are all going to be okay.
We will put those pieces together and they will stick because we have no other option.
We cannot fulfill our destiny if we let things moments like this shatter what we know to be true - that most people are good and deserving of our trust.
Where I’m at now is knowing that the struggle for me isn’t going to be dealing with the insurance company and getting a new car. The struggle will be to hold on to the idea that people are generally good. We wage a battle as we accept that humans are both dark and light, and we must make choices about which outnumbers the other.
I choose light over dark.
But the struggle persists.