I bet you read that title wrong. There is a profound book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People and I wanted to provide a thoughtful title. (You can find the book at the local library folks.)
Sometimes I think we ignore the other half of the equation. When good things happen to bad people. The mobster Don with the big house, the servants, etc. People who promote violence with gangster rap and get a lot of money for it (admittedly, some of them get murdered, too). And we start glorifying it.
Far too often we look at this world and we see those who have everything (or we think they do) and we ignore the fact that the vast majority of these people got there by stepping on whomever happened to get in their way. We glorify bank robbers, train robbers, gangsters, corporate raiders and so on and so forth. We even glorify people in reality shows who are really pretty tacky human beings (sad to say).
Look, I know long blogs get a bit difficult to read and process, but hang in with me here, okay?
The concept that people are Deaf from the neck down has been jumping up and down on my psyche.
Then I saw a profound saying from HH the Dalai Lama and I think it says it all. Perhaps it is why, most of my life has been spent in the service of others. I have worked for a pittance, helping those whom most of society would rather forget existed.
It is why my law office is closing its doors the end of this month. I will keep the license and the malpractice insurance, but give up the expensive location use it as a mail/service location.
Someone who has spent a couple of decades as a champion for the downtrodden in social services is not going to be able to make a living in the law doing that sort of work outside of a legal services organization. And they want litigators, not writers and visionaries. Little do they know what they are missing in terms of passion and commitment.
My mother has always been and will always be my greatest hero. She taught me the life lesson that our lives are about caring for others. She taught me that the greatest gift we can give is ourselves and our time. She wasn’t averse to eating or having a home to live in, but materialism was not her.
She was one of those people whom Dr. Kubler Ross described so well. There are many others – almost always unsung heroes such as a cop in my youth who was so gentle he often went unarmed, who worked with violent youth, who was a talented guitarist and who would entertain many of us in a small, dusty Idaho town. He was a storyteller. He was a peacemaker. He loved teenagers who stole hubcaps and he did his best to help them go straight rather than becoming prison fodder.
In the 12 step programs we talk about not comparing our insides to the outsides of others. Do we think that people like Bernie Madoff – a sociopath who had everything and harmed so many people – are what we want to be? Is this it?
I reject this notion and offer this instead.
I have been talking with a mentor about starting a non-profit organization, seeking grants for just enough to survive on (the program and me) to become a legal beacon of hope for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing who get caught up in criminal situations. Maybe it would be recruiting a law school in the Boston area to take up the fight – to become the new Innocence Project – not relying on DNA but relying on good old-fashioned footwork to overturn wrongful convictions of people who cannot understand the process – who are culturally Deaf and not fluent in English.
Tomorrow I am meeting with an attorney who is not Deaf, is not Hard of Hearing, but who is filled with compassion. She is a great human being. I’m going to do my best to recruit her to this cause. And them I’m going to find others who will help – one way or the other. Since my mission on this Earth is not to be rich (not that I ever wanted to be) but to be of service to others who need me.
Yes, I will still need a place to live, and food to eat. I’m working on that part. It is not the easy part, folks.
Anotherboomerblog is going to morph. It will be more proactive as regards the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. My mentor encouraged to start a contest for the best graphic for a deaf justice instead of a blind one – to start a blog about justice for the deaf that will compliment and augment DeafInPrison.com.
I welcome your comments, graphics if you decide to create one about a deaf rather than a blind goddess of justice, and your ideas regarding everything from grant writing to fund-raising. The mentor (an attorney) knows my passion is in service to the Hard of Hearing, Deaf, and DeafBlind. I am thankful for his support. And yours – should you choose to give it.