Thursday, June 25, 2015
The outside world comes knocking sometimes: a single immigration lawyer is invited to become a mother, suddenly
The Style Section of the Washington Post on Thursday has a narrative by Ellen McCarthy that is prescient about how the outside world can throw sudden responsibilities upon the “me’s” of the world, with a certain moral dimension. The print title is “A woman had a dying wish, Care for my daughter”, she said.”
Online, the title is more explicit. “This life: one woman’s dying wish made another woman a mom”, link here. The included video is called “An unexpected chance at motherhood”.
The story concerns single, childless immigration lawyer Linda Rahal. One of her clients, from Serbia (who had stayed with her at one time), called her years later to ask Linda to adopt or raise her child as the client was dying of an aggressive breast cancer.
At 180 degrees away from this kind of situation is the libertarian idea of morality and personal responsibility: you make your own choices and live up to their consequences. That’s especially true about sex, in all kinds of areas, from pregnancy to STD’s and HIV.
It’s now easy to challenge this with the newer narratives about eldercare, as our parents live longer, and so will we (with fewer of us, as people can afford to have fewer kids). But the challenges go way beyond family and sex, to question fundamentally the way we let people into or exclude them from our lives. These reach back into moral areas.
It seems that most people one encounters in life have fewer legitimate opportunities to make real choices that most of us who may be “better off” and insular realize.
So the outside world can indeed come knocking, very suddenly. The gay asylum crisis provides another potential way this could engage me. I have a lot of work to do before I could use my own content in a way that could support others. I can run out of time, and wind up having to “pimp” someone else’s work or causes whether I “like it” or not.