Thursday, February 28, 2008


baltimore is challenging me in ways i could never have imagined.

yesterday i saw a shooting. no shit. it totally shook me up. and i wasn't sure how to even process it all. i needed to debrief myself. i just started writing down the reasons why it bothered me:

-it shattered a false sense of faith (it took me awhile to find that word... but i think that describes it) in the city around me.
-it reinforced fear mentality that my parents were so adamant about when they visited
-my lack of control. i saw something happen right in front of my eyes and within a matter of seconds. and there was nothing i could do about it.
-it was where i walk everyday. completely unexpected.
-two people died. totally puts a new perspective on that number.
-i don't know what is happening now. kind of a hopeless/clueless feeling.
-i didn't know what to do in the situation. i've never been in that place before. do i run? walk the other way? stay and gather details? call 911?
-the sound of gun shots. the scariest thing.
-i'm scared to walk back that way again. because i'm worried it will all come back to me. (which might need to happen...)
-and on top of that... today there were at least two times as many sirens as usual. i was so on edge and uneasy. i couldn't focus in any of my classes. i felt like i was just drifting through with this major burden.

i was able to talk to stephanie about it tonight, which really helped. her persepctive is that mankind will always let you down. her hope is in christ. that view helped clarified my own. my hope is in mankind. i refuse to accept being let down. that's where my problem lies. i have nothing higher to place that faith in. and that's exactly where i'm stuck. placing blind hope in a hopeless situation around me. and i'm ok with that. someone has to do it.

"to be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. it is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. what we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. if we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. if we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. and if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. the future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." - howard zinn


Stephen Ratkovich said...

Becky, do you realize that you handled that situation in the best possible way? You're like a super human who can do no wrong. It's as if you're life is a how-to on everything a person should do to become healthy, productive, confident, organized, and a positive thinker. You should write a book!

Stephanie said...

this is a bit late, but -
-I got a chill the first time i saw the number in your window changed to 27.
-Im really glad that i can help - i think we help each other.
-and you're not stuck. your wheels are in constant motion. that's a great place to be in.
-refusing to accept being let down is not a problem either.
-you already know that having blind hope is okay, so i think you may like these:
-"But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:24
-"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1
-I'm pretty sure that one thing we're both hopin for is to change baltimore. I'm in if youre in. (so deep!)