Chills down my, not spine, shoulders.
For, I am happy. Stranger words than once I had thought I would ever say, now is what comes to mind when I try to describe my state of being.
Words, streams of bubbling, the irritable, the irrational, once never ceased to distract, perturb me from my current locations. Now there is quiet, a restful, peaceful stream in my mind. I feel at ease. For the most part. I do not know what needs to be said. For the first in my life, I feel I am safe. That I have been saved.
I have just graduated from college, just started a fantastic job that so far I love, there is an other whom I can sincerely say I love, and moving in with good friends tomorrow. And all the while, all that simmers in my mind is: So this is what happiness is?
In retrospect, I suppose depression, angst, fear were all so ever present, I had no conception of its absence. That is not to say I have no doubts with regards to what I am doing, of where I am going. Not to say that there will not be in the future deterrences, set-backs, but I no longer wince in anticipation of pain, of being overwhelmed.
Question on my mind still is, how many make it out? Recently I discovered that of my wonderful group of friends, many if not the majority are all the products of divorced parents. Is it just that these children tend to gravitate towards each other as they grow older? The desire for seeking others with common experiences, common understanding would be a simplistic answer.
I have long thought that psychological trauma on children was unnecessary and detrimental. That public avenues, in particular schools, should have a responsibility in helping children learn not just “book” knowledge, but also life knowledge. That parents who would ruin their potential children psychologically should not be allowed to combine their genetics, however the question of what constitutes negligent or abusive parenting is difficult to uncover and even more difficult to assess.
Thus we as a nation through up our arms in a shrug of well-what-can-we-do and think quietly to ourselves, let that just be each own’s responsibility. The best will still rise to the top and the rest can sort itself out. After all, the worst of the bunch: neglect, abuse, the police and social service can take care of them. Right?
So we continue on our individual paths, our solitary ways, content that the potential problems of others are none of our concerns. Out of sight, out of mind.
What else could be done?
In many countries, India, for example, there are close knit communities. Communities where everyone knows each other and children are considered the responsibilities of the society and not simply the parents. Where children grow up in an extensive community of “aunties” and “uncles”. Where they can easily find belonging.
In the United States, and nowadays many following upon the (now) traditional industrializing path, nuclear family units increasingly become the largest community children grow up in as families relocate or move frequently. We forget, though, that this tendency is something new. The breaking of community an outcome of modern transportation and the lack of centralized community space and day light. The loss of open space decreasing the places for children to mingle, explore, grow as the accessibility and hype of crime in news, re-enforce parenting of stranger danger into children of all ages.
We are generations, increasingly, growing up within the confines of four walls, associating with few other than our immediate family members. Our primary community numbering in the single digits. As for the full implications of this trend, I have not formed conclusions yet.
Perhaps what we are seeing today with the jump onto social media, finding ourselves on online communities is how the future is going to be. With that leap, it will be interesting what the dynamics of online-generated communities, groups formed on interests rather than location, will lead with regards to our global society.