Last September, Michelle entered into her blog “Unconditional Love” about accepting those that are less fortunate into our families to care for them. Though I agree with her message at the end of her post, I also had my perspective on the matter. You can read about her entry HERE.
My response was:
You know, I read this a few times in the last few days and finally came to this:
The nice thing for anyone to do is to bring a less fortunate person home and take care of him or her, regardless of how they may be. There are families out in the world that adopt disabled and/or abused children and possibly even show them the love those kids never felt before. That is very admirable of those families.
However, take my family for example. By theory, I would like to believe that I have the will and energy to extend my love and work beyond the people whom I can call a part of my family, by reasonable priority, but I know honestly, I cannot. I am the type of person who enjoys freedom on top of my already hectic work and sleepless nights. My dad is retired after working 25 years as a waiter and other jobs when he was a youth. My mom is nearing retirement after working as a seamstress since 1988. As tought as her hands and fingers may be, they are very sore to her, and feel the painful effects of working with those same hands and fingers combined with age. For me, I make money that is comfortable for my parents, saving for their retirement, trying to replace our 13 year old van, pay off the mortgage, and other lesser debts.
Home life is quite good. It’s quiet, and they get their rest, and the after dinner strolls.
Say I were to bring home a less fortunate child to raise. First of all, bluntly (as if I really need to say that), it is an outsider that I bring home into the family. So it is added stress on top of whatever debts and work we have here. The scenario would be different if say my sister got into a car accident or stepped on a mine and lost one of her legs or whatever, because she was and is a part of our family from the beginning. It was my parents responsibility to raise her and now it would be a part of my responsibility to look after her as well.
It’s all about reasonable priority. As much as your view is good on this matter, I would also like to add that everyone wishes to be healthy, wishes to be more confident, to look better, to do better, to be better. When we’re not, some of the time, it can bring us down. There is a constant challenge that every one undertakes since they were born. What person wants to grow up talking gibberish forever? What person wants to grow up crawling and rolling around on the floor forever? What person wants to grow up in trying to inconvenience others forever? Everyone wants to learn to walk, then possibly learn to run and finally drive, fly, and sky-dive. Everyone wants to be able to communicate freely with everyone else. Everyone wants to be self-sufficient and not rely much on others. The problem is our upbringing, influences, and mental obstacles, and in this case, an unfortunate war-related event.
If I had a child that was healthy and then an accident caused him or her to need reliance on me, I would care for him or her to the best of my ability, but I would be lying if I said I was not taxed out on caring for him or her. I may never say it, and try to never express it, but I would most likely be feeling that way, regardless of what guilt may pass through.
Of course, I find it admirable for people to take in children of any ailments and care and love them, but we also have to look at things more realistically and otherwise and often times, the existing connections we have versus new connections we must make.
When I read that story about the soldier who lost his limbs, I felt irritated that the son did not take into consideration of his parent’s feelings. Committing suicide based on his withdrawn emotions that his family might abandon him was uncalled for. If he had survived that suicide attempt, I would have wrote a letter to him scolding his ass for causing that unnecessary grief for his parents and then point him to my comment above.
I think though the message is sound and admirable, the successful suicide made by the soldier was narrow minded and inconsiderate. It had nothing to do with honor, duty, obligation. It had simply to do with his limited perspective on what family can do for each other versus what a family can do for strangers.