Monday, August 10, 2009

If you have nothing to say...

I love writing.  I think it's because you have time to choose your words more carefully.  I like to rehearse speeches or difficult conversations.  And one of my favorite sayings is "If you have nothing to say, never say it out loud."
I like to speak positive things about others and the world around me.  I prefer diplomacy over battle.  I would rather walk away than fight.  I'd rather focus on logic than emotion.   And while I am more likely to find something in the back of the cupboard than right before my eyes, I like to look for plain and simple solutions to problems.
I am a quiet person.  I hold emotion somewhat close but wear my heart on my sleeve.  I am an idealist and believe that good overcomes evil.  I further believe that good is the natural state of being and that evil is counter to the natural state of energy - the natural state of any human being.
I would like to believe that we all simply make mistakes and take a wrong turn but it's not the core of our being.  I would like to believe that.  But the jails are filled with people who insist that they did nothing wrong - despite all the evidence otherwise that convicted them.    Their probation officer broke their probation.  The police were out to get them.  No one told them they couldn't do whatever it was.  Their childhood was horrible.  A terrible person turned them in.  On and On and On without once accepting that they really should not have done whatever they did.
People can be so very convincing and so very human.  I recently watched the movie Copote and am haunted by the relationship that developed between murderer Perry Smith and Copote.  Copote was haunted by Perry Smith and it was very destructive to Copote.  He discovered a very human, very ordinary person behind the murderous Perry Smith that reminded him of his own life story.  Much as Copote may have wanted something other, that ordinary and human Smith, could not overpower what Perry Smith did.    In the end, Perry Smith was held accountable for his deeds.  Society was protected from the possibility that he would murder again.  Copote was forever changed by the experience.
The morale of the story - something I have to say - as human, as convincing, as understandable, as a story may be - we do have to account for what we have done.  If we choose to protect the wrongdoing based on that convincing, human, understanding part of ourselves - despite all the evidence - buy into that person's insistence of the need for pardon or placing blame elsewhere - it will ultimately be ourselves to suffer the pain of the conflict.  Ultimately, others will suffer at the hands of that one - that one - protected from accountability.  The balance of justice will have shifted to allow evil over good.  That cannot be.  

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