|8 Oct 2002 @ 11:21, by sharie|
I lived and worked in downtown Chicago, in its oasis of wealth along the coast of beautiful Lake Michigan.
I lived in a hi-rise and worked in another hi-rise along the Magnificent Mile. Across the street from my office building was a famous museum with marble floors, famous paintings and even more famous sculptures... all were hundreds and hundreds of years old.
Inside the buildings and on the sidewalks, men carrying briefcases, wearing business suits and expensive shoes, who drove luxury cars, and no doubt lived in homes costings hundreds of thousands of dollars, were rushing from place to place.
Some of the men were lawyers, some were Judges, earning $5,000 to $100,000 every month, on average.
Yes, there were women, but most were men.
It was all very impressive and respectable.
Just around the corner and down the street, lived babies and children in public housing, the *squalor* of inhumanity.
In these war zones for children, they learned at an early age, that life was hell. They were treated like worthless trash, and they learned that *life* was worthless.
Just down the street and around the corner was that famous museum, with the famous paintings and even more famous sculptures.
And there was I, a Forensic Psychologist, paid by the State to conduct psychological interviews, psychological tests, psychological assessments and to write report recommendations to the Court Judges.
There I was in the middle, between the war zone for children treated like worthless trash and that posh marbled-floor museum with their works of art, and those dashing lawyers and Judges in their business suits rushing to meetings to proclaim their value, their entitlement to public funds which the public paid to help the children.
We were all blind and stupid.
The *real* works of art are the children.
Rather than public funding going to the pockets of *lawyers representing the State" and "lawyers representing the child" and the Court Judges... rather than public funding going to the pockets of Psychologists and Social Workers, none of whom did anything to help the children, all this money should be used to provide decent housing for the children. Not segregated buildings where they'd be set apart as "the poor" but in half-way homes in small towns, which would cost half the price of the inner-city slums (built by politicians so they'd have *voters*). The new half-way homes would have a working stove and refrigerator, and a house-mother to help with the cooking and childcare, so the children could get the nurturing and nutrition they need.
In that moment of insight, I lost respect for my culture. I lost respect for my profession. I lost respect for lawyers, for Judges, for politicians, for teachers, for everyone greedily grabbing for their share... while the children are relegated to filth and abuse.
Children are the *real* works of art, and until they are treated *better* than the paintings and sculpture, we are not a civilization, but a bunch of blithering idiots.