So it’s midnight-thirty on the coldest night of the year in Rio. I’m bundled up in a fleece and a blanket, just finishing a cup of hot chocolate and trying to keep warm.
I think of Rafael and Bruno and Viviane and Jessica on the streets tonight, and shudder. The mothers with children – the children without mothers – out in the cold. While I hate it, I am also strangely numbed and desensitized. We see things day in and day out that should not be, and we do what we can, but we can’t change everything. I think the danger is that when we see we can’t change everything, we eventually stop trying to change anything. We have to stop and remind ourselves that though this is reality, it isn’t normal, and shouldn’t be accepted. It is not meant to be.
I see the eleven year old boy high on glue and smoking. I see the young teens selling and using drugs, bored to death. I see the mothers whose children are hungry. I see the gunshot wounds and knife cuts. I see fear and exhaustion and despair. I see young people with no future. I see people I know told by society they have no value because they are dirty, smelly, ugly, and stupid. I see children believing these lies. I see the lack of hope.
And because I see it day in and day out, I accept it as normal. But it’s not meant to be this way…
“…rage, rage against the dying of the light…”