Charles Krauthammer has written a powerful opinion piece laying out his thoughts about where our country is right now in assisting the mentally handicapped. And the fact is we don’t show compassion to those in need. You can read his words here.
I have a personal stake in this discussion because of the frustration I felt in trying to help my wife with her depression. It was obvious to me and those who understood the situation, that my wife needed medical attention for what she was facing. But due to the single fact that she refused to participate in seeking medical help or any type of counseling limited what could be done for her.
She was not capable of making an informed decision about what was best for her. The laws of New Jersey prohibited me from involuntarily committing her into a facility where she could receive the treatment that may have alleviated her symptoms from her depression. I checked and others looked into this matter and we were hamstrung in trying to get her the help she needed. It was as though she held all the cards in making this type of decision but due to her mental state she could not do what was necessary for her to at least try to get better.
We today are so worried about infringing upon individual rights that we have lost sight of what is best for the common good. And individuals suffer greatly because they can’t/won’t do what is needed for their best interest.
Our narcissistic culture comes up and bites us in the butt big time at moments like these. If all we’re worried about is our individual rights, we have forgotten we also live in a larger world where what we decide also affects those around us.
I certainly felt that way in the situation with my wife. In the end her life ended, I felt, prematurely because her rights outweighed what was best for us as a couple or what was best for how she was a part of the world around her.
The same could be said for those who died in Washington at the Navy Yard last week. They may have died because we are so concerned about individual rights instead of what is best for us all.