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I am not good today. Indeed, I am pitiful, but I am bearing witness in the aftermath as I was taught to do as a little girl and onward in time by Quakers like the members of my Quaker family. So bear with me (double meaning).

I had a child in my class. I’m usually very good at diagnosing children. … I am NOT bragging. I’m just saying that we all have skills and knowledge that can be an asset. … Now I am doing avoidance behavior since I don’t want to get into my main topic. … Yeah, I’m good at that, too — going tangential.

Now, I have a high IQ, but my nephew’s can’t even be measured since it is so high. He is an oddball  too. He, at age five, talked to me about fusing Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conant Doyle together in writing … a synthesis. And he used the language and concepts to make it happen.

He is 911 response worker full-time while studying to be a surgeon full-time. That is not so impressive to me since my daughter and I did this in graduate studies with 4.0 GPA.

I am first responder trained, past EMT. When I come upon an accident, I step into the mess and knock everything out of myself except for my first aid knowledge. Then I drive home when the ambulance arrives while I shake and cry. … Eventually I reach home and I throw up since I am literally and figuratively sick to my stomach over that which I saw and had to do. … When I let my emotions back into myself, I’m flipped out despite that I CAN handle myself in traumas and I will work myself to the max to do so.

My nephew does this sort of work day after day: tell a 78 year old man about what to do after he killed a young man on a motorcycle, delivers a baby over the phone since the husband and wife didn’t make it to a hospital in time and saves a heart attack victim over the phone by telling his family about what to do until the ambulance arrives. NOT A JOB FOR ME!

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. We all have special talents and deficits — I included. … One of my favorite persons when I was fourteen was a ten year old with Downs Syndrome — one of the best persons that I ever met in life. So it isn’t about underlying intelligence — got that?

So I was struggling with this girl in my class who bite, kicks, scratches others — doesn’t play or do activities unless involving me one-on-one.  (She didn’t like my assistant teacher.) So I had to get her professionally investigated. ,,, Maybe she had separation anxiety from parents, but I wasn’t sure.

So in MA, we have clinical studies for children — all of them — from birth onward. You like that happening? Then set it up in your own country or USA state. … We get these sorts of kids investigated by others if needed.

I was close to her parents and knew all sorts of information. For example, Dad from India had a nervous breakdown after coming to USA. He was use to family compound. Here he knew no one.

His wife, who eventually he met, gave birth to a little girl who was born dead due to umbilical chord wrapped around her neck.

He got wrecked physically running away from a junkyard dog when picking up his car from a car service vendor. So I sent him to a MA living Thailand masseuse therapist. He went to her again when he way driving  two way to Boston and back, sixty miles total. swapping places with his wife and they cut their hours at work for one of the best leukemia hospitals in the world.

The girl in my class was eventually diagnosed.She has leukemia. (No wonder that she was unhappy most of the time since it doesn’t feel good.) She has spent most of her life in a hospital enduring horrid procedures and she had spinal material put in her from a stranger in Germany who had it removed for her (with her being a stranger to that person) medivaced fast to Boston for her out of Germany. … This is my kind of person.

I try to be kind, too. I gave the family presents, including educational toys that their child, my former student, can use in the hospital. What else can you do of service if you are not a good spinal chord match? … You certainly can’t visit since her immune system is shot and you are germy..

I am not the only person who has seen young children die and I have seen several die as have others in my circle of family and friends. So we bear witness again and again over this issue and repeatedly suffer due to compassion. So it goes.

I am glad that this child’s medical ordeal that happened for years is over  It didn’t turn out as we had wanted, but is now is ended and she DOES have medical cannabis in MA during her hospice stay as her body systems shut down.

Her parents, after burying or cremating her, have three choices: adopt, try for another child themselves or give up having children altogether. … I’ve seen all three options work … and not work for some people.

I do not in the end know about what to say or do except to try to be as supportive as possible. I simply can not fix the situation whether due to evolution, genetics or happenstance. I can only bear witness and ram my love forward as best as I can.

My sister reminded me me of this message with which we were rammed since little children. … We have to keep at our tasks no matter the outcome. It is the only way forward.

Our parents kept on telling us this account since we were toddlers so as to drill into us that we can’t be noddle-heads, but have to keep on going in our values and effort no matter the outcome.

This is one of my top four favorite Gandhi stories:

When considering the sheer magnitude of it all, one easily can get discouraged. As such, I imagine that most of the others with the same goals as yours do and sometimes when I, personally, do — I recall this ensuing account. (It helps me regain my strength of purpose when everything starts looking too bleak for me to carry on.)

It is one shared with me by my parents, who knew the featured, young American during the 1940’s. As an aside, he was nineteen years old at the time of his return to the US.

After having lived at Gandhi’s ashram and shortly before his departure back to the US, a young man requested an exit interview with Gandhi (who brought his Hindi interpreter along). Upon meeting for this final time, the eager young man asked, “How can I ensure that your message of peace and universal brotherhood can be made a successful realization in America? What can I do to make certain that this WILL happen?”

In response, Gandhi shakily rose to leave and answered the query in Hindi (despite that he could speak in perfect King’s Standard English as he had been trained as a lawyer in Great Britain). Meanwhile, the interpreter translated into English, “Interview is ended.”

The young man pleaded, “But why? What is wrong? I do not understand.”

Gandhi, turning back from leaving the room, replied, “It is because we are not speaking the same language. You see, you speak of success and think of failure. Your vision and your words are wrong… Instead, you must think of yourself and all of us as birth attendants upon the world. We will and must try to do our utmost to bring about a good delivery as it is our responsibility. However, we, absolutely, cannot think in terms of success and failure. We simply must do all we can in the best way that we know to help the world irrespective of any presumed outcome. Our effort, in and by itself, must be our whole focus.”

In a similar vein, we know where personally isolating ourselves from personal and global difficulties, while doing nothing to try to address them, leads. We, also, know where indulging in various forms of self-advancement, at the exclusion of others, does. What we do not know, though, is how intentional changes in some life choices can make a difference. Nonetheless, we have to try out these alternatives. After all, it is the only viable way to proceed toward our world’s future!

Sally Dugman, writer in MA, USA.

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