There's a lot going on in the world today that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
We have thousands and thousands of federal employees unable to work because they are being used as pawns by both sides of our political divide, and putting food on their tables is about to become a very iffy situation for many of them who live paycheck to paycheck. Britain appears to be just as inept with their clumsy attempts at a “Brexit” deal, and at least 14 human beings were killed earlier this week when armed men burst into a hotel in Nairobi.
A personal aide to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord, testified that Guzman paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — a claim that many people aren't taking seriously, but, still, must be at least looked into, right? China has been ticked off at Canada for arresting Huawei's chief financial officer, and allegedly responded by overturning an earlier sentence on a Canadian teen convicted on drug smuggling charges, and handing down the death sentence instead.
There are any number of conflicts, disagreements and flat-out acts of hatred on our planet that could trigger a world or civil war at any time. As a father of a 4-year-old girl, that keeps me awake at night. Will she be allowed to chase her dreams in the future? Will she be able to play her part in making the world a better place?
Will there even be a world for her to make a better place?
If there's been one story in the news recently that has truly had me on edge, it's that of Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who recently resurfaced, both physically and in the nation's consciousness.
For those of you unfamiliar with Jayme Closs, she first made headlines in October 2018. Police reportedly received a 911 call from the Closs home, and discovered the murdered bodies of Jayme's parents, James and Denise, upon their arrival. Immediately, police put out word that they were actively searching for the couple's 13-year-old daughter, Jayme, and the community banded together to offer support and take part in various searches.
The media attention was intense, but, like always, it began to fade away with passing time. I remember reaching the conclusion in my head that young Jayme had either been killed, or, the cynical portion of my brain suggested she was somehow connected to the death of her parents and took off on the run.
Then, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 88 days after Jayme Closs had gone missing following the murders of her parents, something amazing happened.
Jeanne Nutter, a retired child protective services worker, was out walking her dog when a girl approached her. According to an account on FOX News, the girl said, “He killed my parents. I want to go home. Help me.”
Nutter instantly believed that this was Jayme Closs, and brought the young girl to the nearby home of Kristin Kasinskas. Closs apparently told the women that she had been abducted by Jake Patterson, a 21-year-old who lived near where Closs was found, and that she had grabbed some of his shoes and fled the home when Patterson had left.
The women called 911, and Douglas County dispatcher Amy Pullen received the kind of call that I assume dispatchers around the world hope to one day receive — a missing child was found safe.
“This is the first time in 10 years I've gone into a full-body shake and body sweat just because of the severity of the situation and how public it was, and her family was in dire need of finding this girl,” Pullen told FOX about receiving the call. “The sound of [Kasinskas] voice, I knew something was different about this…You have that gut feeling, you can hear it in her voice, you just kind of knew.”
Police quickly arrested Patterson, without incident, and he reportedly confessed to his crimes rather quickly — telling authorities that he had seen Jayme Closs get off her school bus one day and put into motion a grizzly plan to murder her parents and kidnap her. Police said Patterson told them that he shaved his head and face in an attempt to not leave any DNA at the scene, and that he had tried to take Jayme two earlier times, but was scared off once by cars in the driveway, and another time by a lot of activity at the house.
Raise your hand if this terrifies you.
Now, raise it again if you are completely blown away by the courage of this young girl to never just surrender and accept her fate, and, instead, fight like she was the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's ark, and it was starting to rain.
There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world, and many of them will flat-out break your heart. There are bad people, sides that won't deal maturely with one another and strife over religion, nationality, gender and race.
But there is also the human spirit, which is more powerful and remarkable than we often remember. And that is the part we all need to cling to these days.