The Vulnerable

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

Let me be blunt, I abhor violence!

I grew up always in fear, fear of someone acting out in violence. Going to school I was always looking over my shoulder. Never taking the same route to or from school.

My dad had a terrible temper and to him being violent was his only option. Unfortunately I have a sibling who thinks the same way. Others in my family also gave no second thought to uttering threats.

There are many in our society are vulnerable, living in fear, constantly worrying about their personal safety.

The wife who stays in an abusive relationship, staying because of the children. Or, feeling like she cannot survive on her own out in the world.

To the child who lives in a family where abuse is constant. Living with an adult who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. The child who doesn’t know that they can speak to someone in authority, like a priest, a teacher, or an adult in their family. For me my safe place was at my maternal grandmother’s home. I knew I would be loved and protected.

To the young man or woman who lives in fear that they will be outed. Afraid to come out of the closet, maybe because of religious convictions. Maybe, afraid to be ousted out of their home and forced to live on the streets.

Or, how about the child who has no say in the matter on the color of their skin. Many young black males who live in fear that what would happen if they were pulled over by the authorities. They live in a world where their earning potential is limited because of the color of their skin. Oh yes, they have the education, they are bright, smart, and excellent in their calling. Yet, they must endure the prejudice that society has placed on their shoulders.

Then there are the elderly, who may still live in their home, but if someone was to break in they may not be able to fend the intruder off. As horrible as it is, those who have been placed in senior homes suffer abuse by nurses, orderlies, and even other residents. Their only hope is that maybe family or friends will notice that something is not quite right, hope that they will go to authorities to have the abuse stopped. Many families have purchased “nanny cams” and have placed them in the room of their loved ones. Many have been caught and probably there are many who have yet to be exposed.

Then there are those who are suffering in silence battling with mental illness. Needing someone that they can confide in to find some support. Afraid, people will not believe that they are sick. Yes, we somehow have compassion with someone that has received the diagnosis of cancer, but mental illness is another issue. Many think they are faking, that the person is just looking for sympathy. For many, they cannot seek professional help within the health care system. Simply, they do not have insurance! I am grateful that I live in Canada, a health care system that I can access for help when in mental distress.

Dear reader, these are the vulnerable in our society. We probably have gone to school, or work, or maybe, even our neighbors or friends. These vulnerable are invisible to many around them. The homeless person on the street, people passing by constantly, but no helping hand to reach out and help.

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