628: Rules and Mercy

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Today’s people believe themselves unique from all others, and entitled to special consideration in honor of that fact. Yes, it is a fact that you are a totally unique person – JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. This uniqueness is both unremarkable and ubiquitous – that means it is universal, and something that is universal certainly doesn’t make you unusual, or deserving of special considerations for being exactly like everybody else.

Rules (and laws, for that matter) come about because somebody caused a problem, a serious problem, and the rule or law was established to prevent someone else from causing the same issue – in other words, somebody screwed up and now everybody else has a rule/law, including those who didn’t need it because they’d never do it, anyway. Like murder, for example. It’s against the law to kill another person. DUH. Despite it being against the law, with specified serious consequences up to and including we (as a society) will KILL YOU BACK – apparently, that potential consequence doesn’t stop a whole lot of people from doing it anyway.

Aaron Dickson, President of the Board of Directors of the Texas Prison Museum stands on November 19,..

And this, for something so serious that it could very likely end up terminating your unique existence on this planet – they do it anyway.

Now, imagine this mindset, the murderer’s mindset, applied to all the many smaller rules and laws that exist to keep order in a society: I’m going to do it anyway because this broken rule/law won’t (usually) kill me. This is the recipe for chaos in society, and friend – we are THERE.

The evidence is there to show we have arrived. A quick Google search supplies the frightening fact that people KNOW that texting while driving, which BTW, is illegal nearly everywhere, can kill (and does kill, on average, about 11 people a day) and yet  35-45% of people DO IT ANYWAY. More than 15 of every hundred adults (37.8 million) in the USA is a smoker, KNOWING it can and does kill. The list of irresponsible, life-threatening risk-taking continues in like vein for many, many behaviors, for many, many thousands of people.

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This doesn’t include the little stuff that is designed to make a workplace, a home, a school an orderly place to function. If people are so contemptuous of the stuff that can and does KILL people, I suppose it is entirely within character for them to frequently, usually and completely ignore all the others, too. I can only assume this is because, as a totally unique individual, I am therefore cosmically exempt from all strictures and consequences. hahahahahahahahaaha, yeah, right.

There is such a thing as mercy. God offers it in the act of salvation, and occasionally, He suspends His usual laws of the universe and miraculously bails out someone from the natural consequences of their own actions – or circumstances beyond their control. It happens too often to be just chance. Occasionally, and more and more frequently in this modern age, judges and other administrators dispense mercy to individuals who also don’t deserve it.  That WOULD BE the definition of mercy: salvation, or grace extended to the undeserving.

COUNTING on mercy to absolve you when you deliberately flout rules and laws is stretching it. Very few escape justice (man’s or the cosmic variety) forever in this life, and no one escapes it in the next.

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611: Respect

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I am going to treat you like a mature, responsible, respectful human being…until you prove to me that you are not. Then, I will deal with the problem you are, or that you caused. The next time, I will treat you again like a mature, responsible, respectful human being….until you prove again that you are not. Again, I will deal with you. The third time, I will probably treat you like a real human person – repeat scenario. MAYBE the fourth time I will treat you respectfully……but I will also curtail what I will allow you to do, and how much interaction I have with you, because you have proven over time that you have no interest in adjusting those parts of you that are not mature, responsible and respectful.

And all of that is all on you.

Every stinking bit of it.

575: Questioning the Divide

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When there is a difference of opinion, there is a divide between us.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The distance is less of a problem than it is a safety net.

When my explanations to you are met with dismissal, and you can only keep expounding your views (which views I disagree with), that divide becomes more and more a safety zone

instead of an intellectual difference – a divide I increasingly wish to never, ever cross.

I don’t ask you what your reasons are. I believe that I understand them, and I respect that you hold those views – and I respect YOU. I have not challenged you to change your views with my facts (which you discount as valid, anyway). WHY are you compelled to challenge me?

I can love you without having to agree with you on every issue.

Why do you say hurtful things to me when you are frustrated that I have not come around to your way of thinking? When I retreat from you rather than continue to argue with you?

I do not insult you.

Have you come to the conclusion that those demons inside you that cannot be drowned (because they know only too well how to swim) must be desiccated to death in the desert instead?

I have

I don’t want to need so much safety

Please stop widening the chasm between us

571: Maybe it IS you…

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There is a huge culture now of “accept me as I am.” It is the “be yourself, and don’t change who you are for anyone or anything.” Yeah, well….I get that idea, but I see the problems this healthy self-acceptance beginning eventually leads to – and it isn’t pretty.

See, in the old days, people celebrated bettering themselves, and overcoming character flaws, not congratulating themselves on refusing to change for any reason whatsoever (deserving or not). Literature abounds with heros who have to overcome their flaws to be successful. Those are character flaws. People have them. These character flaws need, and deserve to be, overcome, conquered, mastered, vanquished. For the good of the individual, and for the good of us all.

Sometimes, the problem really, truthfully IS YOU. And it may be genuinely you, but it is a part of you that genuinely needs to be changed, repaired, fixed. And, sometimes, it’s me. I’ve been working on me for several decades now, and there are still some things I have not yet mastered that need to be fixed.

If I can recognize that I can be a better human, so can everyone else, because I assure you, there isn’t anyone breathing who could not use a little self-improvement.

545: Too busy to write is too freaking busy

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I process my life by writing. When things happen, I process my thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions through the reflective and revealing lens of the written word. This is the method that works well for me. Except lately.

Lately, having moved country (Atyrau, Kazakhstan to Fitzgerald, Georgia, USA), started a new job in a sort-of new school (I taught there before I decided to leave the USA), moving into a new place, BUYING a new residence, becoming a new grandmother and obtaining a delightful new husband……I do not have time lately to scratch my watch or wind my butt.

This is a serious problem. I get the sneaking suspicion that without the catharsis of processing everything via my usual written lens that I am missing the deeper significance of things – leaving important details out, losing the flavor, the spice, the nuance – the meaning of life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

I just don’t have the time to fret about it before some new demand raises its head, insisting on being dealt with RIGHT NOW.

The urgent is overwhelming the important, ding dong dag nab it.

*sigh*

391:How Come? (no pun intended)

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Why do people (read: men, mostly) in public positions, who have so very, very much to lose, engage in extra-marital sex? Why?

Some claim it is an addiction. Addictions are choices. You have to choose to try something, and choose it over and over and over, usually, to develop an addiction to it. You picked it, with a little help from some weak gene, perhaps, but – you picked it. Still your fault.

Some claim they were seduced. Duh. Sin is attractive (read: seductive), because no one would commit it if it was ugly, obvious and UNattractive. You chose to do it. Still your fault.

Some claim it was because their significant, legal choice for legitimate sex was unforthcoming with the goods. Sounds like a relationship problem you can work out with time, therapy and some serious romancing on your part – not to mention cleaning up the ugly parts of your life and character that are turning your significant other OFF to the point that they are not interested in you even touching them. And, if all those remedies are unproductive, you can divorce them and hook up (legally) with someone more compatible with your sex drive. Still your fault.

And SOME offer no redeeming ideas at all for their stupid, childish, undisciplined, sexually risky and career-risking behavior whatsoever. STILL YOUR FAULT.

351: )*(^&&^%@^%)&$@@ PEOPLE!!!

I once took a group of High School students to Washington, D.C. for a student vocational group national competitive conference (the Technology Student Association). One of the off-conference things we did was to visit the Holocaust Museum there. We had previously seen the Mall, and the Smithsonian, so I was fed up with all the other people (doing what we were doing) who were in my way.

As we passed through the Museum commemorating the unthinkable numbers of people who were slaughtered, represented by heart-breakingly pathetic, sad little piles of personal items: discarded, confiscated eyeglasses, or toothbrushes, and shoes; some new, some very worn, some large and some appallingly tiny……the idea was implanted very irrevocably that these humans were killed just because they were in somebody’s way -a somebody who had, at that time, the power to remove them, and no conscience to prevent him from doing it.

It has been many years since that eye-opening, mind- and attitude-altering tour. Powerful impressions do fade over time, and I was just recently contemplating how that “people are in my WAY, dammit” viewpoint creeps back. I see it every day while I and everybody else is driving….Panamanians, Moroccans, Romans, Dominican Rebublicanos, and Americans (heck, let’s just indict EVERYbody) clearly demonstrate that road rage mindset on the road: others, regardless that they are engaged in their own personal life business, which may or may not be as pressing or as important as MY personal life business, are obstacles in my path towards accomplishing my goal. It’s Hitler on the road….isn’t it?

And what about those people (who are employed by the government, usually) who are doing their jobs, obeying the incompetent idiots who are their supervisors, who are causing me inordinate amounts of stress, aggravation, and general-pissed-off-ness when I am trying to get something done because they are doing their tiny little mind job like they were told to do it? OBSTACLES IN MY WAY. meh.

I’m not saying I like this personal revelation about myself and my attitude towards others, mind you, but like AA, recognizing the problem is the first step in solving it – assuming I want to actually work on solving it – which is another issue altogether.