It’s that time of year again, when the shopping malls are decked out in full Christmas gear and ‘Jingle Bells’ blares from every available speaker. It’s a wonderful period that brings many people back to their childhood, where the only worries to be had was which Christmas classic to watch, and how to spend your snow day off. And even once you’ve grown up, it’s still really tempting to wonder just what you’ll get under the tree. Will it be a gaming console? A new set of tools for the garage? Socks?
So when they asked me what I’d wish for someone else, I had no choice but to think of my lifelong friend JS. I’ve know the guy since I’m 6 years old and he’s the closest thing I have to a brother. However, him and I were dealt a very different set of cards at birth (not that my life was that great, incidentally). His parents were mostly absent and divorced at 8, when hey chose to send him to schools for kids with behavioural issues. This exacerbated his temperament and he never ended up graduating high school. Through many bad decisions he ended up using drugs and eventually started showing signs of mental illness. Throughout his 20’s he spent time in and out of mental institutions and it’s only recently, in his early 30s, that he’s started to stabilize. But he’s a broken man who lives barely above the poverty line, has few social skills and even less prospects for the future.