A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
I heard this quote from comedian Patton Oswalt the other day on the radio, in reference to the bombing at the Boston Marathon. When things like this happen, when evil shows it’s reckless ways, Willy and I wonder about this world we’ve brought our two lovely children into. I’ve heard people that do not have children of their own question whether having children is a good idea, given the nastiness we live in at times. My desire to mother children superseded any debate about not to do so, but now that I have two children to protect and teach, the ugliness in the world weighs more heavily on me. It’s one more thing that we, as parents, have no control over.
In any case, Patton Oswalt’s words were just what I needed to hear and I wanted to share his words here for anyone that has yet to hear what he had to say.
“I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, ‘Well, I’ve had it with humanity.’ But I was wrong,” Patton wrote. “I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know”, he continued. “If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out.
The vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.'”
When I look at this picture of Willy and Van, it’s difficult to comprehend the realities present outside of this little home of ours. This picture reminds me not of what we cannot accomplish as parents, but what we can: love, respect, humor.
Patton Oswalt’s words are undeniably powerful and true. In times where we struggle to make sense of it all and in a world where evil undeniably exists, we’re going to teach our children to be the white blood cells.