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A Young Boy Paralyzed — When will we regain our priorities… and humanity?


“Now I’ve been crying lately,

thinking about the world as it is

why must we go on hating,

why can’t we just live in bliss”

-Cat Stevens

‘Peace Train’

While I certainly share in the singer/songwriters desire for peace and am moved when I hear this song, it is the above passage from his song that too often jumps to the forefront of my mind in the current day and age.

A few days ago, I read of the poignant story about a child who was permanently brain damaged after he was struck by a line drive off a metal bat while he was playing in a Little League Baseball game in New Jersey.

One second he was pitching; the next second he had stopped breathing – and for the next 15-20 minutes his brain was deprived of oxygen.  Good Samaritans tried CPR until paramedics took over.  His life was saved, but the oxygen deprivation left the boy permanently brain damaged; a condition that leaves him unable to perform any functions of daily life on his own and one that will require full time care for as long as he lives.

Tragic.  Devastating.  Consult the thesaurus for synonyms, and all would apply here.

I was able to read this story, as I do most of the news stories I read now, online. But I also did something that I normally do not do, and that is, to continue on to the comment section to see what folks had to say about this sad story.

Appalling.  Nauseating.  Consult the thesaurus for synonyms, and all would apply here.

Fortunately, at the time I read the article, there were only 7 comments.

And here are some of the things that people – fellow human beings (although based upon what these people said that certainly is now debatable) – had to say:

  • “the boy wasn’t fast enough to catch the ball …”
  • “I feel bad for the kid, but that’s just sports …”
  • “sorry for the kid, but that is sports …”
  • “it’s sad that this boy was injured.  It’s more sad that the manufacturer and retailer settled and are paying out such a large sum of money.”

And while it is true that the focus of the story was the fact that the boy and his family received $14.5 million dollars in settlement of their lawsuit against the makers of the metal bat and the retail store that sold the metal bat, and while lawsuits as a topic in this current age of tort-reform mania no doubt elicits strong feelings, hate-filled comments such as these follow just about every on-line news story that appears.

Naturally, this is not an indictment of freedom of speech and an individual’s right to say what he is thinking.  Rather, this is the memorialization of a realization that dawns on me anew nearly every day –   we live in a world, and an age, filled with hate.  And the hate is intense, and the haters are vocal.  And the intensity of their hatred is increasing daily, and the legion of haters is  growing exponentially by the day too.

And while inside I weep when I read sad story after sad story, day after day, about misfortunes that befall our fellow human beings, I also weep for the state of our world.  A world that is consumed with hate, a hate so extant that people would actually feel more sorry for the manufacturers of a metal bat who settled a lawsuit than for a boy who is now permanently brain damaged, and have no reservations about saying so.

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