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Ira Kortum:Love in the time of grief

What do you do in times like these? Be angry? Sure, that’s what the shrinks’ll tell you, that anger is a part of the “process.”

But where does the anger go? Who do you yell at? Not the person who ends their life, it’s too late for that. And not society, because we are all a little bit responsible there and in a way that makes society faceless. That leaves us to rage in circles, which doesn’t bring an image of winding down but more of an image of bubbling and turning, a building pressure with no way to vent it.

“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!”

And yet it would seem that despite all the advances in our lives, through all the discoveries, creations and growth we’ve done as a species and a planet that the cheapest commodity on earth is still that of the human life. From political to moral to no real reason at all it’s tossed away daily. How many of us even give that a second thought?

In a year from now if the name Nicholas Leonetti is mentioned, will he be remembered? How long do you have to think about it if the name Matthew Shepard is mentioned? So easily discarded, so easily forgotten. Unless you fight it. Unless you make the conscious decision to not forget, to have this moment be the jumping-off point for an awareness to your fellow human beings. It’s not going out and saving the world; it’s just keeping an eye open.

Who knows what a little “Hey, what’s up?” could do for someone in the long run. A little intervention can go a long way; take a moment to look back on life, think of a time where things might of been a little rough for you.

Racial, gender or sexual stereotypes making it difficult for you do deal with any issue or issues. Or a number of things go wrong, or things have been really tough and lean the last three months on through to a couple of years.

What about the realization that you or others are just low, with what feels like no way up/out. And one person or persons, regardless, took the time to help out, listen, talk to you, lightened the burden by giving some of their time to you.

So here’s the challenge, not to go running about and laying into the first person who’s head appears to be pointing at a somewhat downward angle; to not to save the world (and please dear God let’s not have this turn into a sequel from the movie “Heathers”).

However, try to talk to your friends today. Try and see or talk to someone you haven’t heard from in a while, take the time to smile randomly at people as you pass them by today. (That is something Portlanders used to be famous for, the “good day stranger” smile.) Open that door for the person with their arms full. Try to be a little more aware of the world around you.

There is the tiniest chance that in doing so the effects from such actions could hold ramifications that last a lifetime.