When I tell people I’m going to school to become a social worker the reactions vary. An all too common response is, “That’s a hard, sad job.” In a way, they are right. There are a lot of hard, sad things going on in the world.
In 2007 a 17-year-old Iraqi girl was stoned to death in an honor killing because she had a boyfriend who was not of her faith. Look here if you want more info.
For the past several years a Minnesota man has been logging onto a suicide chat room posing as a suicidal female nurse and has successfully coaxed several people to commit suicide. The whole story is here.
Members of an anti-gay church picketed against gays at the 2006 funeral of a U.S. marine (who was not gay) saying that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan were God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of gays and lesbians. More information can be found here.
A mother from Logan, Utah locked herself and her two daughters in her car for two days back in August. She cut one girl’s wrist with a box knife and began to slit her own throat with the same box knife when police broke into the car. The mother begged police to shoot her. To read more about it look here.
The list of terrible things that happen in the world seems endless. It’s discouraging. How am I supposed to make a positive difference in a world bound and determined to inflict sorrow on other members of the human race?
But in the song The Heart of Life, John Mayer reminds us, “No, it won’t all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good.” This has become somewhat of a motto for me. Bad things will happen. People will die, children will get hurt, and things will be unfair. But at the end of the day, the heart of life is good!
I know the heart of life is good because I saw it in the sparkling eyes of a sweet three-year-old girl. When I gave her an underdog on the swings, she laughed like she’d never been taken away from her home in the dead of night by the police. She smiled like she hadn’t spent the night sobbing uncontrollably on a bed that was not her own.
In my occupation I will be reminded daily of the sour and rotten parts of life, and it will be hard and sad. But each day there are also reminders that the heart of life–that hope that sustains us through it all–still beats strong.