Monday, August 4, 2008

Entry for August 03, 2008

"Kanashiku nacchata!"

(I) felt really sad!

Yesterday, I saw a woman who was emaciated, as in, I just came from a Subsaharan African village plagued by drought for the past two years emaciated. She didn't seem the least bit concerned about this, as she wore shorts that showed brittle-looking skin stretched over the bones and tendons in her knees. Eating disorder, I thought to myself, as someone ill with cancer or other disease would not be so cheerfully showing her body like that or be walking outside in the intense summer heat. I felt so sad that this woman wasn't getting the help that she needed, or if she were getting help, it wasn't, well, helping. Which happens sometimes, and it's no one's fault, not any more than it is when someone loses a battle against cancer even though they were fighting with everything in them and getting the best possible care.

Then, I saw two boys, who looked to be about eight or nine, calling this woman mom. They were both morbidly obese, as in, seriously at risk for diabetes and heart disease obese. Behind me, a couple of average looking boys about the same age were pointing at the kids and snickering and saying "Pigsy!"

I had this image of this woman's struggle with food, to want to eat but not being able to, and channeling it toward her children, who consume all the junk food that she sets in front of them. I had an image of the boys struggling daily with their weight, how it keeps them from normal physical activity, sets them up as a bullying target, and puts them at risk for all sorts of health issues now and on into adulthood.

I know that I shouldn't be slapping psychiatric diagnoses and creating imaginary family dynamics about people I don't know, unless they are fictional characters. But this family made me very very sad.

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