It is almost 1am, June 1st. I was already in bed talking to my husband about our day. Yesterday my husband took the day off; we were excited because it was pay day. We took our son to summer camp and ran errands. By noon we had to take I25, a major highway here in Denver. We saw a huge black smoke and knew there was a fire, but we didn’t know how bad. My husband suggested not to take the highway but I did not listen, which is not new. I took I25 and only got to the end of the ramp. We couldn’t move, everything was a mess, and the police just came and told us to go in reverse.
Now with social media, we quickly found out what was going on. It was a fuel tanker that exploded. Traffic became a nightmare, and we continued with our errands. We had lunch out while watching the news at the Peruvian restaurant. We could see how bad it was. All of a sudden, I was feeling sad and worried for the person who drove that truck. I wondered what happened and if it was his fault or not and how bad he must have been feeling.
Later on in the day, I had to watch the news; I had to know what happened exactly. So that is what I did, I watched the news. My husband was really not interested; I would say he didn’t even care. But who am I to judge, right? I continued. I was amazed and almost in tears to see how the city came together for this event. A couple of people helped the driver get out of the truck. I got to see the firefighters trying their best to control what was a massive fuel fire. I saw the city controlling manually the traffic lights so commuting was easier. Even the tolls waived the fees. I saw community, I saw caring, I saw love.
When I went to bed tonight, I told all this to my husband and how emotional it was for me to see everybody together in this sad event and the heroes. My emotions were kind of shut down when he said to me:
“What I saw is just one event and everybody paying attention to just that while there are 5 cases of child abuse happening every minute, and there are not resources put to that, and you don’t see the community coming together for that.”
I replied, “Do you think if they start putting the child abuse cases in the news every day, would that help to find the heroes, the resources, etc.?”
“Probably people would get tired of seeing that on TV and wouldn’t sell as a truck burning in the middle of I25.”
And all of a sudden, I felt I was being judged for being concerned and curious for this man who was driving the truck. And I reflected on that. Is my husband right? We kept talking, and I kept thinking that in a way he was right, and not only about child abuse. I actually said: “While we are talking about this probably a woman is being raped right now, and I don’t know about it.” But even if I would know, if the news would cover it, would I be sick of seeing that on the news?
We prayed when 9/11 happened, when bombings happened I saw and felt, we all came together at those moments. But I can’t lie, I don’t see that when we know as right now as I am writing this blog there must be a village being burned in some place in the world, or a husband beating up a wife or a teenager planning to kill him/herself.
This 5-minute conversation with my husband made me think: in what kind of society do I live? What kind of person am I? Do I really want to know all the bad things that happen in the world? Am I just trying to distract myself from the real issues that we face now?
To be honest, I can keep going and going and I won’t find the right answer. Yes, I am a curious person. I am one of those that will go to the place where a terrible thing happens and record a video of what is going on. I might not be the hero who saves the driver because I am not that brave, but will I be the hero of a woman being raped? Of a child being abused? Of a teenager trying to commit suicide?
I don’t know the answer. I might never know. Do I feel guilty? Not sure. But yes, I feel something. I feel curiosity of why we are the way we are. I know this does not apply to everyone reading my blog. Perhaps many people feel like my husband, or maybe not. Who am I to judge, and who is he to judge?
At the end of the day, I have to learn to choose happiness in spite of what others go through. I try not to turn my head the other way. I am not afraid to go deep because I know growth will come. Many feelings can come like shame, guilt, etc. But it is my life; definitely the talk with my husband made me think and raised a big question.
Who am I in this life?
I leave this blog this late night with a question for you: “Who are you?” Or even better: