A resident of Vallejo, California, Monica is a behavioral analyst at the Spectrum Center Schools and Programs and Positive Behavior Supports Corporation in San Francisco.
2017: A Year of Loss
The year 2017 will be remembered as a year of loss. These losses have been personal as well as universal, intrinsic as well as extrinsic, significant as well as minor. I won't list mine as that always smacks of mining for attention, but I will state those that have had a powerful impact on the way I perceive the world and live my daily life.
There has been a loss of kindness. People are quick to judge, quick to anger, quick to dismiss others as being "them." Finding kindness and empathy has become more and more difficult, and those who possess those qualities find them increasingly difficult to maintain.
There has been a loss of joy. A new life is now accompanied with a desperate fear for the quality of that life in 10 years, 5 years, next year.
Our country has suffered a loss of its core values. Those who interpret our Constitution in such a way as to justify the exclusion of other opinions, races, ethnicities, religions, gender, and sexuality now have a sense of righteousness and scream those justifications from the rooftops. All the while, they stridently declare that they are protecting our values.
There has been an ironic loss of security that has multiplied since a president promised to make the citizens safer. Guns now outnumber people in the USA, and those guns are used by both "bad guys" and "good guys," who are now more difficult to tell apart. The US is now just beginning to understand how millions of other people in the Middle East, South America, and Africa have been living for decades. Shame on us for not paying more attention to their security and consequently jeopardizing our own.
Our nation no longer has a sense of responsibility. It is unconscionable that Puerto Rico is still reeling from Hurricane Maria. It is unbelievable that our leadership has taken pride in breaking promises and promoting lawlessness. It boggles the mind that elimination of social service programs that literally save people's lives are about to disappear. If we have lost a sense of responsibility for our own, who are we?
Goodbye, 2017. Your passage inspires no remorse.
Hello, 2018. Let's try to get it right this time.