I am particularly fond of the phrase innocent until proven guilty; and yet we often find ourselves jaded in this world, disabled and dehumanized in the presence of our current systematic approach to societal justice. Similar to the game of "Telephone," examples abound of our own ancestors approach to justice via hearsay (i.e. Salem Witch Trials), where verdicts and sentences were determined and carried out based on false testimonies. How do we know what truly happened unless we witnessed it first-hand? What does that term even mean?
In research and journalism courses, one of the earliest lessons focuses on the falsehood of "first-hand" accounts and/or the unreliability of "first-hand" witnesses. As soon as information exits our lips to share our side of the story, good or bad, it is no longer first-hand. The human brain is complex, but cannot store every detail. The information is now secondary as the images thought to be cemented in ones brain have now been picked through, fragmented like a jig-saw, filtered, then altered from what transpired. Because the listener of said story is now processing information, be it a reporter or someone else, it then becomes a tertiary source from pen to paper. Add another person to the equation and the problem continues...
The reality is that the world wants proof. How do we know an epidemic exists if we aren't experiencing it first-hand? If we aren't living our lives 24/7 to ensure the safety, care, and support of another life suffering from a disease, how do we know it's really a problem? If you haven't experienced the horror of your own parent forgetting their grandchild's name, followed by your own name, until finally no one is recognizable, how would you ever come to understand the massive problem dementia is becoming?
Assisted living memory care units are already busting at the seams. In-home care requires geriatrician-trained nurses, which are few and far between. The average new patient wait time for a neurologist specializing in forms of dementia (and actually qualified to diagnose Alzheimer's), is 8-12 months. The age pyramid is flipping, my friends, and there aren't enough doctors or nurses to treat the people we love. What more can we do while we wait?
TALK. Talk about it and spread awareness. Share the facts and get involved. Call 1-800-272-3900 to speak to a trained, caring individual who can help you find answers, the help you need, and keep your information private.
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit." -Henderson
While we wait for the world to catch up to reality, remember that music could be your loved ones only medicine as a true gateway to lucidity - if only for moments. Swaying, tapping hands and toes, and smiles are your sources for proof below...