Finding Connection In A Complicated Story

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In my recent and near final term at Marylhurst, I was in a class that examined the opiate epidemic; from Oxycontin down the slippery slope of heroin. We looked at many aspects including the culpability of the pharmaceutical industry and Purdue, the billionaire single family-owned company in particular that greedily manufactures oxy, the role of doctors, the insane unethical marketing practices of the industry, the risks for patients. Addiction and how people arrive there is one of the most heartbreaking and rampant epidemics that’s plaguing us socially, culturally, morally and emotionally.

On the outside, it’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to make blanket statements like “they should have known better than to get addicted,” or “I’ve been given pain medication after surgery and I didn’t get addicted….” But this issue is not so tidy nor are the people’s stories or reasons who become addicted. As is the case here about the man who stole one of the MAX stabbing victim’s wedding ring. Sure it’s terrible and cruel and unthinkable. But can we, for a moment, take heed of what the man’s life was and is that lead him to that awful decision? Should this consideration matter when such an atrocity had been committed?

I’d suggest it does and we might given how intense the anger and hatred for what he did came forward so fiercely without any consideration whatsoever. Perhaps without the more complicated story, the uglier one without a solution makes the anger or hatred easier and more justified. I just don’t think in the times we are living in though, we can afford to recklessly funnel that anger without a little bit of a moment to pause and wonder they “why’s” and “how’s” of where it’s coming from or even where it’s going to. I suspect we have to ask more of ourselves than this. “This” is becoming too easy. While the reality of the rest of the story and life and judgements are becoming seemingly more complicated.

Read the story behind the story here

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