I think the time has come for me to give up on Facebook. It seemed like a good thing originally but the more I use it the less I feel connected to anybody out there in cyberspace. The fact is my life bears no resemblance to the stuff my friends post there. I don’t play games online, I don’t watch YouTube videos and I can’t get very excited about what’s cooking for dinner. My days are 24 hours long with the ever-present possibility that I will have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go get a teenager out of jail and take them to some new destination hours away. A good day is when nobody cries or gets sick or threatens me. The world of foster children is unrelenting and harsh beyond anything I could have imagined.
Tonight was a new low for me. I had two siblings in the car for just a 45 minute ride home. At one point the eight year old girl asked me if I had ever been in jail. When I said, “No”, she said, “My grandma has and so has my uncle for what he did to me when I was 4.” Then she proceeded to give me a graphic explanation of why he’s in jail and if it were my decision, he would be burning in Hell. All I could think of to say was, “Well, I hope you never have to see him again.” The reality is she may have to see him again because our prison system is overflowing with even worse people and pedophiles do get released back into society. I know this because she said he had molested her on more than one occasion when he wasn’t in jail. Welcome to my world. If you want to stop reading now, I understand. Check back in a few weeks and maybe I will have something funny to say that will make you laugh.
Therein lies my problem with Facebook. Honesty is not welcome there. If I were to post the truth about my life, I would surely be banned forever. No one wants that much information. Superficial comments are all that matter on Facebook. That’s not communication, that’s perpetuating ignorance and ignorance is why we have so many problems, like abused children. I can’t blame Mark Zuckerberg for this failure. The idea is a good one but it doesn’t work without people who are willing to have real conversations about things that matter and may make us uncomfortable. That’s how we grow as humans, we hear about issues that bother us and we become motivated to change them. Let’s be honest, our biggest problem is not what we’re having for dinner. Our biggest problem is how many kids go hungry every day.
There are many times each day when I wish I had never taken this job. My ignorance was bliss. I was even foolish enough to think I had a well-rounded, honest view of the world we live in. I knew there were troubled kids and dysfunctional families but I never let myself imagine the living hell that exists just down the street from all of us. If that realization makes you squirm too much then Facebook is the perfect place for you. I just can’t do it anymore. I know too much to ever go back to seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. That’s my fate but it doesn’t have to be yours. I’m not about to ask anyone to join me in the work I do, I like you all too much to cause you that much grief. On the other hand, your prayers on my behalf and for these kids would be much appreciated. If you’re not much for praying you can always call me and tell me a good joke. I can’t tell you how much I need to laugh and just the possibility of a real live conversation would be pretty amazing. I am still hopeful that some day Facebook will fulfill its promise and become the forum for knowledge that we all desperately need if we are ever going to make this a better place to live, for all of us. To that end, this blog will have to be my contribution to the greater good. I just hope it’s enough.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.