On the same day last week, President Obama gave a classy farewell speech, the 85th Texas state legislature was sworn in and a 14-year-old girl went missing from my neighborhood. Instant perspective, right?
While two of the three events were history-making, one was terrifying. I don’t know the young girl–who was found unharmed and is safe–or her family, but I certainly sighed heavily when word went up on Nextdoor that she was okay. In those few hours of wondering, state and national politics faded into the background.
While many in my state and in our nation are swirling in insanity and injustices–for good reason–a family frantically searched for their daughter and sister. I cannot imagine the stranglehold of fear that buckled them.
I don’t know the circumstances behind why the young girl went missing, but for about six hours during a late-afternoon and evening, a mother imagined every scenario and pictured every gruesome scene.
I know many, many families that can imagine, though, because every day they live with the circumstances of their kids’ drug and alcohol use. They live in abject fear of the one phone call that tells them their child is missing or dead.
Our days find us scuttling from place to place, multi-tasking without totally focusing, constantly driving (literally and figuratively) while the cell phone with its many distractions is seldom more than a few inches from our fingertips.
Where are the children and teens? They’re tethered, but not to you. They’re distracted too, because their still-developing brains cannot absorb, sift, sort and process the thousands of stimuli floating to them electronically.
Again, I don’t know the story about why my neighbor was lost and her story is not really my point. My point is about the composite of young boys and girls who are lost, but not necessarily in a physical way. They crave our adult attention.
It’s tragic when their parents don’t see the hurt, the cries for attention. All too often, we lose young people to addiction and by then the adults in their lives are lost and hiding too, like two parallel lines that seldom cross.
These things give me cause for pause.
I know that this is a hard week for many who are fearful of the impact a new presidency will have on the United States. We may indeed have some tough times ahead OR we could be pleasantly surprised. Time will tell.
For today, consider:
How are you showing up in this 24 hours?
Are you present or distracted with your kids and with your life?
While acknowledging that the details of the nation are important, where is your heart?
I find that the heart offers the very best perspective!
Photo courtesy of Victor Bezrukov