By Maris Kramer
My day was filled with all the people I used to consider crazy*:
Young man sees me putting gas into a Catholic Charities cargo van. Yells, “I’m Catholic! I go to Holy Cross! I love the work you do!”
- Old me: why are we talking about this
A group of people holding an anti-death penalty banner in the rain outside the Georgia State Capitol Building. Two men shout Psalm 146 into a megaphone. All change the lyrics to sing, “Lethal injection is still murder, down by the riverside.” Everyone “mmmm”s and “amen”s.
- Old me: walk faster and don’t make eye contact
Bus-stop Pat asks me, “How was your day? Why are you hesitating?” Work was good. Andrew Brannan is being executed tonight. “Do you believe in God? Well, that’s my bus! Is it okay if I put him in prayer?”
- Old me: ???
Unfortunately, my every day is filled with me, who’s now crazy:
- “Thank you. It is good work!”
- I’m holding a banner. I’m singing about lethal injection. I’m saying amen.
- Yes. Please.
The only reasonable response to crazy—child conscription, denial of mental health services, political imprisonment, the death penalty, deportation of children—is to be crazy enough to believe that awful things can change, and that human beings can change, and that human beings can change these awful things. Hopelessly tethered to the judgmental, irritable humbug I’ve been known to be, there can be an “old me.” I can be new.
*I intentionally used “crazy” in this post. I acknowledge the stigma and hope you see anything but stigmatization in my words.