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  • Writer's pictureSteve Szakal

An American Story

On this day 21 years ago a 19 year old kid from Scranton, was broken into a million pieces.

He was stripped of his dignity, innocence, and humanity. Human one second, a god damn animal the next. The things he had to endure would shake you to your core. No human needs to go through that shit.

When your 19 the world is a different place. It is open and free. Your whole life is a blank slate. You are really just beginning your life. It is a wonderful feeling. But in one second it can all be taken away. And for that kid it did.

When you have to wake up everyday wondering if it is going to be your last, does things to your spirit that some people never really recover from. Loneliness and fear can tear you apart.

He thought all was lost.

But that kid grew up in North Scranton, and in that neighborhood people don't give up on you. They come together and do what they can to help. He was not forgotten. That community did everything they could to put that kid together. His friends and family had a love that could power the Sun. They saved him.

This happens all over America. We just don't always see it. Communities all over this great country will band together to help those that need it. That is what being human is.

The only way we have survived this long is by banding together. It is who we are. If you think that you are on this earth for any other reason than to ease the suffering of others, than you are on the wrong fucking team.

The broken, bullied and victims of extreme trauma, are all around us. They are you and you are them. We are all fighting battles that only we know. The scars are still there, they remind us of who we are and where we've been. That is our strength.

So today is December 18th. Today I will let some shit go. You do the same. And every 12/18 let it go. That kid was broken and love put him back together.

When you feel your life ain't worth living You've got to stand up And take a look around and you look way up to the sky Yeah, and when your deepest thoughts are broken Keep on dreaming boy, 'cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die

-Shannon Hoon

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Feb 26, 2020

This post spoke to the very core of my being. For so many, the smile we wear, is for the tears we can't cry. The hugs we give are for love we never got. The love we give is because we so desperately want it reciprocated. We all have a story. We've all been through things. It's the strength and compassion of others that restore our faith in humanity. Or at the least, for a small piece of it. The soles of our feet hold an often untold story our our lives. Our shoulders have carried considerable weight. And our hearts have been fragmented, but over time, the test becomes the testimony and we can hold our heads high,…

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