Forgive Me Not

If you were President of the United States and you made every decision with prayer and personal pain — or if you were a secretary who did not answer an important letter because you didn’t give a you-know-what, or if you didn’t answer because you were too busy with more important things. I don’t very much care why.

You are a grown-up person, and WHY you blew off your neighbor’s head, or why you forgot to feed the dog — none of that changes your neighbor’s head or the dog’s stomach. WHY you choose to obey Title Nine law (equal treatment of women) doesn’t matter to me. If you hate my guts. So long as you do choose to obey that law and give equal treatment to women, then I have my chance to advance within our culture, and that is the whole point of the rule of law. To help individuals conform to some system that is for the benefit of the community.

All behaviors have consequences. We are not responsible for why, but we are responsible for what we do, every breathing minute.

Every time I drive into a parking garage I remember one of the big tragedies of this year when one student accidentally ran down another student. In my mind, I can see the driver, maybe texting as she drove, or daydreaming, and then accidentally slamming her foot on the gas instead of the brake when she looked up. I don’t know. Nobody said. I do know that she did not mean to do it, and the tragedy belongs to the both of them, the dead and the living. She will live with it forever. As will the President who couldn’t be bothered to listen to all sides of any issue. And all the families of the people he killed as a consequence of his incompetence.

All our behaviors have consequences, and we are never off the hook. Whether or not someone thinks we should be forgiven — probably as individuals we should be, because nobody is perfect and everyone has accidents — but that will never change our responsibility for the harm our behavior has imposed upon the community.

So don’t try to tell me you should be forgiven because you meant well. Or because you are a nice person. If you really meant well you would have thought about the long term consequences to other people of whatever you decided to do. Before you did it.

And furthermore, I am not interested in being evaluated according to what you think I might have been thinking when I decided to do (or not) whatever you think is the right thing to do. That kind of behavior does not resolve anything, whereas a discussion of the issues (friendly or not) might actually help. A little thought, a little imagination, a little learning and study and a little self control and you CAN do it, whatever that is you had in mind.

If it is possible; if you want to badly enough to think about the consequences of whatever you are doing..

Good News

As I have said a few times before, bullies usually only know one kind of power. We can deduce this because their kind of power is basically the most destructive kind there is. If they knew anything else — they would do it, because it’s almost always more likely to get them what they want. So that’s the bad news we have been living with.

The good news is, if you can stay out of their physical reach, bullies are easy to outwit. Unfortunately, it does take a little more time, during which they are creating chaos for everyone, but they always do lose in the end. That is, they don’t get what they wanted, and very often they get something much worse than they would have had if they had a few thinking skills. That is, if they would actually think about the consequences of their behaviors. Because ALL behaviors have consequences. And anyone can think.

And that is the BEST news. Anyone can think about the consequences of their behaviors, and ALL behaviors have consequences. Some behaviors have good consequences, and we are doing behaviors every breathing minute of our lives, so that’s how many chances we get to create good consequences for ourselves and our heirs.
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Spontaneous behaviors are cute for little children, but adults always want more than cute. So it’s good to know that all it takes is to think about what we are doing (including think about what we are thinking) and learn as much as we can about what happens to people who do what we are doing/thinking. Once we “get” this, we can have control over our own future. The bully, whether a person or a country, never controlled anything good.

And that is my Mother’s Day wish for the mother of us all, the earth ecosystem.