Who chooses desperation?

The short answer: no one, not if they’re sane.

No one wants to be poor, uneducated, devoid of hope.

No one wants to live in squalor, surrounded by the fear and despair brought on by crime and addiction.

No one wants to get up hungry every morning.

No one wants to count the hours go by, wondering if they will make it through another day unscathed.

For those of us who did well in the ovarian lottery, we should be eternally grateful–and hopefully generous in spirit and deed.

For those of us born on third base, we shouldn’t, to paraphrase Barry Switzer, think we actually hit a triple.

And for those of us who reflexively meet confrontation with an attitude of kicking ass and taking names, perhaps a response rooted in compassion is worth considering.

At some point, lives of quiet desperation turn either to silent resignation or very vocal agitation. And when the latter path is chosen, we shouldn’t be surprised. But we can’t excuse or accept the hatred or violence that it may spawn.

That doesn’t mean we don’t understand it. That doesn’t mean we meet hate with hate or stay stuck in pious judgment.

No one chooses desperation. But how we respond to it is clearly a choice–an incredibly important one.

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