You’re probably feeling like you know me by now, getting a feeling for who I am, what my background might be. But you don’t know, not really. I’ll tell you things about me later on, things no-one else knows just to show you that I’ve made mistakes too, that I can get angry, feel vengeful and hate. I’ll show you my own darkness. I haven’t been “fully awake” since childhood, that’s over twenty years of “sleeping,” plenty of time to make mistakes, have regrets. I still make errors in fact, but I’m learning to reduce them bit by bit. Knowing more doesn’t make you perfect, on the contrary, it shows you just how imperfect you are and how much there is to work on. But I digress, as is in my nature, I was about to make an introduction of sorts… but you look like you want to ask a question.
You want to know how kitty is? She’s gone to sleep on the cushion now, the purple one over there. See, she’s quite happy. I think she’s bigger than yesterday, isn’t it amazing how fast they grow? You can play with her when she wakes up if you like. Until then maybe we’ll see her paws move in her dreams, that’s always fun. But we won’t talk about her much now, just check in on her every now and then, it’s time to meet Dakota. But her background is confusing and it’s only coming to me in dribs and drabs, so we’ll just have to make the best choices we can on the given information. That’s life though, right? Often we don’t have complete information, in fact isn’t that the usual state of affairs? Dakota isn’t in the house at all, well, technically neither are you, but we’ll let that slide. Dakota is out there in the rain, I’ll show you.
Look out of the window, past the drops and the water that courses down like mini-rivers onto the decking. My street has gone of course, disappeared, but don’t worry about that now. There are no more mown lawns and unruly maple trees, but still the downpour that is almost louder than my voice. Focus on my dulcet tones, my southern British voice. With my words I will paint Dakota for you, she’s more real that you will ever fully comprehend. When I last saw Dakota she was a child, but that was twenty years ago. I can tell you what she was like then and wait for more information to come on her present situation, but she’s in dire straights now and you will have to decide if she gets help or not. That may seem easy, of course you’ll help, but things have a nasty habit of getting complicated.
Dakota was a sweet and gentle child when I knew, her, thought it may sound like a cliche, it’s true. Her hair was lighter back then, chestnut I suppose and she would braid it for hour in front of the mirror, But Dakota was already disturbed by the age of six. Though the toilet was only a few metres from her bedroom she would crawl under an old pool table and urinate on the carpet. No-one knows why she did it. It was as if some animal instinct drove her to do it, to hide somewhere dark, somewhere that felt safe. She played with her dolls and was kind to her siblings. She was a fighter, never staying down if she fell or got knocked. She would go out of her way to be nice to other kids at school, but mostly stuck to just two friends who didn’t mind how old her clothes were. Did I say she has freckles? She does. She was a skinny kid but mostly healthy. She loved animals, as most little girls do. She hated jelly and sausages. She was a teacher pleaser, always doing her best in classes and clever too, learning quickly. But her childhood was rough from the start, some kids have it worse, but her home was turmoil and violence; not constantly, but enough to make her less stable than she should have been. I wish I could have saved her from the years ahead of her, but I was only a teen myself back then.
Anyway, Dakota is an adult now, in her late twenties now and expecting her first child any minute, her labour is advanced and she’s in considerable pain. Keep looking out of the window, I’ve moved the house close to the hospital for the next twenty minutes, in that time you will decide if she and the baby live or die. We’ll see her very soon. There she is! She’s so different. Her hair is shorter, darker, but that could be the rain. Her dress is no match against the frigid onslaught, the fabric is beating in the gale like a weather-worn flag. Her steps are faltering on the path, they are short, almost like a doll with stiff legs. Though her belly is large she’s still skinny really, undernourished. She must be in a great deal of pain to walk like that. From her face I can tell she’s fighting hard to regulate her breathing. Do you see her feet? The sneakers look quite new but they’re too large, her ankles are swollen with edema. When the contractions come she doubles over. Hang on, there’s some new information coming in... The baby is breech and stuck, she also has placenta previa. Dakota needs help in the next twenty minutes or she won’t make it. No. Don’t try to open the door, you aren’t part of her story. You’ll get the chance to help her soon though, I promise.
She’s almost at the aluminium frame of the hospital, look, a porter is coming out with a wheelchair and she’s in. But wait, that’s not the end of it. We’ll fast forward fifteen minutes, that’s all they’ll take to discover she has no health insurance. There, the porter is wheeling her out again. Look, you can see her. You can hear her too. She’s screaming like her guts are being ripped out with a blunt instrument even against this terrible wind that threatens to rip the limbs from the trees, especially the young ones. In five minutes she and the baby die. I’m going to give you the price of saving her life in cash, the price the hospital needs to cover her expenses and you can either keep it or take it in there and save them both. I know you want the money right now so you can run out into that storm and save them but there is some information you need first. We have three envelopes to open here. Let’s see what is in the first one.
Hmmm. This one is from her landlord. Mr Humphries says she parties all the time, drinks heavily and on more than one occasion he has caught her smoking while pregnant. She has had multiple lovers as recently as two months ago and is a month in arrears with her rent. He suspects drug abuse as there is frequently powder outside her door and he predicts that the infant will have a drug addiction and mental retardation. So if I give you the money now, do you want to save her, it’s a hundred thousand dollars. Or you can keep it, your call. Just record your answer with a #1.
Okay, number two. This is from her ex-boyfriend, the baby’s father. He says she’s super manipulative and she stole money from him. He is almost certain the baby isn’t his and he thinks she was sleeping around with his best friend. He says she’s a big faker and likely isn’t even in pain, she cries when she gets a hang nail. He says she quit her job two months ago knowing she’d need the money for her baby and has no source of income. Right, what about now, are you going to save her now? Record your answer, I’ll give you the cash soon, though if you do keep it I know a good investor that can probably double it for you.
That leaves envelope number three, it’s from her mother. it says that Dakota is a compulsive liar and a sociopath. It says the father of the baby was a good for nothing drug addict and she believes Dakota has AIDS. She alleges that her daughter has been a prostitute and was recently arrested, she thinks for soliciting. She also says she believes Dakota to be mentally unstable and possibly guilty of killing her best friend five years ago. Of the baby she says “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” By the way, I heard back from my amazing investor, he says he's got a sure thing that will give you a five hundred percent return, but shhhh, no-one else knows about it. With that kind of money you could buy a house outright in a great neighbourhood! Or you can run over there and pay the money to save her. So, have you made your mind up?
There you go. Dakota has two minutes left. Here is the money, all cash, all unmarked bills. From this moment on it isn’t my money anymore. It’s yours. Now I’m going to open the door. You can run to the hospital and pay the money, or you can take it with you. Here's the business card of the investor, maybe you could make a profit for yourself and donate to a charity for orphans with the surplus, ten percent maybe? But decide fast, they only have seconds left. I don’t need to know your decision. That’s for you. In fact, I’d rather not know...
Right, either Dakota is alive or dead, only you know the answer to that right now. Hang on, there are three new envelopes marked one, two and three. Very odd. Let’s open them. The first says her landlord is a crotchety old man. She is a month behind on her rent, but we don’t kill people for that, right? The powder outside her door is white flour, she bakes a lot of her own bread so that the baby doesn’t get the preservatives through the placenta. She often has some flour left on trays or in bowls and she thinks it will make a mess if she tips it into the trash. Seems fair enough. You did save her, didn’t you?
Anyway, envelope number two. The ex-boyfriend is bitter. He was abusive to her on multiple occasions, mostly verbal, but he did strike her also. He cheated on her and hence accuses her of the same, though she did not. The boyfriend offered no proof and even if she had, we don’t condemn people for poor choices of sexual partners, right? She could have a thousand lovers and it wouldn’t make her less worthy as a human being. She didn’t quit her job, the boss made an advance on her and she rejected him, she was fired the next morning. Poor Dakota, she’s had a rough time. I did tell you that she was a great kid, I do hope you saved her.
Now number three. Her mother is a bitter woman and she is the sociopath. Why do you think Dakota had such a poor childhood. I told you Dakota helped other kids and was kind. Sociopaths don’t do that. Her ex wasn’t a drug addict and Dakota does not have AIDS. Even if she did though, would that mean she should die screaming on the grass in the rain, bleeding out as her baby dies in her belly? Dakota did have some mental instability, and after that childhood who could blame her? But she had found help with a new Bible study group, mostly male, mostly gay, that had taken it upon themselves to help her. She never told them about the lack of insurance because she thought she was still covered by her old employer. She was trying to dial them from the hospital but was getting voice mail. If she makes it the baby will have about six daddies who will help him and his mother. They’ll have a great life, movie nights, popcorn, love and laughter. I do hope you took the money over, but since you don’t seem to be able to talk to me I guess I’ll never know. The window is dark again, we must be going back to my street now.
What was the point of the Dakota story? Because you have to know how easy it is to manipulate the truth, or make bad decisions made on partial evidence. Again, similar to Kitty, with Dakota there is a life vs money issue; but there is more than that going on. Every day when you watch the news you see only a partial story, like the first three envelopes. And in real life you never get the second three, the truth of the matter. So unless you train yourself in critical thought you will be a puppet of the media and advertisers, it's all designed with a knowledge of psychology, you have to know get your free will back.
I don’t care what country you live in, your news is propaganda. Fear and misdirection. They’ll tell you who to hate, who should live and die - show you how the enemy is barbarous and the powers that control your life are heroes. Those enemies are all “Dakota,” they were children once too, perhaps they still are children. Maybe they have names you can’t pronounce and no-one to speak for them. Maybe they call their God by a different name than you do. Maybe they pray differently, eat differently, have a different family structure. Do any of those things mean they should die? Be expendable in “war”? Does it mean they should be allowed to starve to death? Are they so good at dehumanizing the “enemy” in your mind so you will turn a blind eye or even support war? Chances are strong that if you met these "enemies" in real life you’d be firm friends very quickly. I know I've fallen into a rant again, but I need to finish or my brain will boil over.
Love is the answer, not hate; let's have grace over intolerance; critical thinking and genuine research over ignorance and impulsiveness. If you were back in the Nazi Germany, how would you avoid being swept away with anti-semitism? How can you avoid hating people you don’t know now, likely people from another culture and religion? Are any of them expendable? For less than we spend on war we could save them all.
I have to warn you though, if you did choose to kill Dakota and her baby, God will now have to make you live through her pain in hell. That’s the way it works. You choose to make her suffer so you can be richer, you’ll have to live that pain later on, only magnified and worse. Why worse? Because you made God suffer too. You see, He loves everyone, He feels everyone’s pain. So if you chose to let Dakota suffer and die, and her unborn, you did it to God too. So you’ll have to take on the suffering of all three of them and God is paper thin. He feels everything from everyone. He feels all the terror, all the hurt, all the pain and He still pours out nothing but Love. He is amazing. Hang on. God want’s me to correct that, just when I was having fun too. I lied about the hell bit, there is no hell but the one we make on earth, but it’s true that God feels everyone’s pain. How? I told you before, your soul is a fragment of the Divine, He is part of you. That’s how everyone has an innate moral compass, should they choose to use it. When you raise your hand against another, you raise your hand against Him too, when you help another, you help Him too. When he said He was the poor, the meek, the hungry, He wasn’t joking. He is.
So to recap again - life is worth more than money - money isn’t even real. This is just the beginning of your training sweetheart. You must learn to be guided by Love, but you need some teaching first or you’ll simply con yourself that whatever it is you want is the most loving thing and it isn’t.