If you follow my blog, you may have read the prison industry posts. While this should be enough to examine what is actually going on in this country, sadly it is not. Understanding that those in Washington D.C. have spent much of the last years arguing amongst each other, very little has been done to address this issue.
Today, on social media, I saw a post that bothered me. Maybe you read it, maybe you skipped by it, maybe you hit a like, sad or some people have even responded with a laughing button, and even more offered their version of a solution, many of which included words like, “lock them up”, or even some suggested death is the answer. What you didn’t see this morning was what that post looked like to me or what those responses or emojis say about you.
I often hold my responses to ignorance, because over the years I’ve learned it’s just not worth my time. What I never see in these (NUMEROUS) posts is an offer to help in any way. Knowing, of course, that I don’t have a solution, what I do know is that what we are doing is not working. If putting people in jail or prison would solve our drug crisis, we would have eradicated drugs years ago. We’ve been doing the same thing for more than 50 years now and the problem is not better, only worse.
How many have gotten down to the real issues for an individual who is addicted or perhaps even selling drugs. The vast majority of those in prison today for selling drugs were left with no other way out. Addiction steals families, homes and jobs, but it leaves an expensive disease and no way to afford the prescription.
I say prescription, because in this country that’s exactly what it is. We fail to invest in health care and particularly mental health care, because of an increasing ignorance. Trauma, mental health issues, financial issues any number of other issues can leave anyone in a place they might never imagine they would be. Perhaps even struggling with addiction.
I say instead of posting to social media for the attention of other people of ignorance, DO SOMETHING. Write letters, insist our government work for us instead of lining their own pockets. Sit and listen to someone’s story, buy them a cheeseburger. Act with kindness and understanding and try for once to put the needs of someone else before your own.
I, for one, try to practice this daily. In fact, I’ve spent many years of my life dedicated to those with mental health, addiction and other issues as they try to build something better for themselves and their families. You know what’s happened as a result? I’ve done the same thing for my life and family. You should try it.