We are our “brothers” keeper. I feel responsible when something bad happens and I could have done something about it. This is not a new thing for me either.

I remember when I was 7 or so, my family got word from California that my Aunt’s had each lost a child to an apartment fire in California. It tore our family apart. I, being so young, wasn’t sure how to process that. I was in mourning but I was more angry. I was angry because in my childish mind I should have been able to save them. I didn’t understand that I was 2000 miles away and all that. Obviously I don’t hold myself responsible for that tragedy, but the concept of wishing I could have been able to help stop that pain has never gone away.

I believe that each person has a responsibility to shoulder the burdens of their communities. I have a role to perform, a function. As do you and the hundreds, if not thousands of folks you run across daily.

We have the duty to be compassionate, loving, respectful. To take that moment to let someone know they are something to you. That they are not refuse or forgettable, that they matter.

We are all going to make mistakes and be awkward and feel out of place. Its like the iceberg analogy. If you look at an iceberg 10 percent shows above the water. Is our social selves. The other 90 percent is hidden below the surface, hidden. This is our past, our dangerous and sometimes ugly memories that help guide our present actions.

We all have 90 percent below the surface.

With Love
Jeff Utnage