It’s Not About You

Here’s something I’m completely fucking sick of. Every time something tragic happens and regular citizens step up to help, and the news interviews some of these people, there’s always one who says something self serving. That one person who has to somehow make it about them. And it’s almost always with the same phrase.

It has always been a problem for me, although I never knew it until this morning. Every time I would hear this certain phrase I would have a tick. A nervous twitch that would go off in my brain, and I didn’t know why. Well, now I know why.

This morning on the news they were talking about a missing college student. I just Googled “missing college student” to see if I could locate the story I’m talking about and Google blew up with JUST THIS STORY. Apparently she’s either the only missing college student right now or she’s the only one anybody gives a shit about.

I hope they find her and she’s alive and well. I really do. I hope nothing bad has happened to her. And I’m glad people are out there looking for her. Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about any of that. My problem is with one woman who was helping look for this girl, who was interviewed on the news this morning. She said that phrase, that quote, that gets under my fucking skin. I’m not saying this woman doesn’t care, obviously she does. She just said something that doesn’t matter, or at least it shouldn’t.

“Well, I’m a mother of two girls, so…”

So what? So if you weren’t a mother or you only had boys you wouldn’t be out there looking? You mean to tell me you’re only out there looking because of that, and not because you’re just a decent human being? So what’s everyone else’s stories? There was a young college boy there who was helping to look, is he the father of a little girl? Or does he have a third cousin, twice removed who just had a sex change and is now a woman, and he couldn’t imagine ever losing that cousin in some nefarious way?

This woman basically said, “Hey, look at me. I’m a mom and I have two daughters. I know EXACTLY what Hannah’s parents are going through. Except my girls are at home and safe. But if they ever go missing, the Graham’s have to help look cause now they owe me one.”

And this happens all the time. Flood victims being helped, someone is sure as shit going to say, “I have a house near water, so…” Car wreck? “I own a car, so…” Hang nail? “I have nails, so…”

Nobody gives a fuck about you or your shit. All that tells me is that you’re only helping because you can relate minimally. It sure would be nice to hear someone say, “I’m helping because I care.”

3 responses to “It’s Not About You

  1. I don’t see it that way at all. Too me, she’s saying, “If this were to ever happen to me I hope that people would pitch in and help just as I am.” I thinks it’s just a karma thing. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.

    She probably could have worded it better, but there’s really no right thing to say at a time like this.

  2. Disclaimer: I’m disagreeing with you, but I still adore you, okay?

    So, everything about us, everything that happens to us, changes us. The things about you and around you become part of who you are. We don’t have to experience something personally to feel affected. The closer it is to home, the more we feel “part of.” So, you might feel strongly about things in the Ohio River Valley, or haunted houses, religious zeal, or AC/DC, because these things are part of you.
    As a mother, everything feels closer to home when it’s about children. It is about me, and my girls, and all women, because it feels strongly like a women’s issue, let alone being the fear of all parents.
    When I kept that stray dog for a few days, I kept him because I didn’t want to see him dead on the adjacent thoroughfare, and you can bet your ass I’d want someone to take in my lost dog and keep her safe for me.

  3. I hope she was coming from a place of empathy rather than selfishness.

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