Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Comment

Someone left a comment to yesterday's post! However, I have chosen not to publish it. It contained what appeared to be an opinion about Michael Jackson's anti-Christian-like dancing behavior. I chose not to publish it because this post, and this blog as a whole, is not about how one feels about touching parts of their body while dancing.

I respect that this anonymous commentator has an opinion (or has found an opinion) they feel is worth repeating, but the commentator clearly missed the intended point here. Therefore I will also choose to not go off on a tangent by starting a discussion about this irrelevant opinion.

This blog is about real people, who have real lives and make real choices. I am here to talk about real people who are suffering, and they are suffering in ways that the majority out there can only scarcely imagine. That post was not about Michael Jackson, it was not about a going away party that the host city could not afford, and it was not about spending a day surrounded by an immense crowd so some people could sign their names in a book that no one will ever read. Perhaps it will be noted that I made no mention of my opinion over his guilt or innocence in regards to his previous charges. That, too, is irrelevant. Therefore, I will not post an opinion that was brought here simply because I named Michael Jackson in my first sentence.

I came here yesterday because Margo Howard's words, that I quoted directly, struck something in me. It is a question that I often ask myself, and I felt compelled to try to answer it. So, the question in my terms: How is it that I can overlook the person and his actions just because Monty was always a good friend to me? As I hope it has been clear, the answer is "I do not know."

I did mention yesterday that some of it may be born of fear. I illustrated that as a fear that we could be the ones doing those bad things, if it weren't for the people we know doing them. The potential for bad choices is within all of us. There's another side to that fear. It could also be fear that we made a bad choice in failing to see the badness in others. How does such a misjudgment reflect on us? What would others think of us when they learned of the mistake we made? Humans are pack animals and acceptance in the pack has prominence in many of our thoughts and feelings. Still, I do not know.

But the valuable lesson that I learned is that this ability is not unique to me. I found that many people can ignore what they know, or think they know, to show love and support for someone who touched their lives in some way. From a scary movie buddy to a figure on stage to someone who violated a traffic law and caused direct injury, and everyone in between. Being in someone's life, even just for a moment or from a distance, will touch them. That is the place where we find compassion for people who do not seem to deserve it. Deserving is not the purpose of compassion.


  1. I like your last line. In the course of my work as a doctor, I take care of prisoners. Most of the time I don't know why they are in jail, but sometimes I find out...and though part of me may be disgusted by what they have done, as a healer I try not to judge, and I take care of them in the same way as anyone else. Part of the beauty of the faith I share with you is that we see divinity in everything around us, and we understand that divinity cannot be broken down into the dichotomy of good and evil. We, all of us, have the ability to choose our actions, and all actions are open to our faith, however, we believe that we must take personal responsibility for the result of those actions, and that sounds like what your friend is trying to do.

    I think you are able to continue to love your friend, because, like me--whether I care for prisoners or nuns--you can see not only the common humanity, but the common divinity, in him. Perhaps, like me, you recognise that the only thing that makes him different from the rest of us is the poor choice he made.

    Will he make the same choices in the future? If he is willing to "harm none", that is, consider the repercussions of his actions prior to committing them, or even "do unto others only as you would have them do unto you", I think he will be, as the Christians say "saved". I like to think that, if he follows our path, he will recognize, and respect, the divinity in himself and others around him, as well as in the universe around him...and will choose only those actions that reflect that respect.

    Blessed be...Laurel

  2. You make an interesting point, Laurel. If he accepts that underlying principal that drives so many of us, he can be fixed (as one of the ministers I spoke to on Thursday put it). I think part of my struggle is that he has already grossly violated that rule that I hold so sacred. That's one of the reasons why I can't help him with this part.

    It's not that people can't change, be healed, or be "fixed." It's yet another point that's hard to explain. I think I just can't take that burden. If he can't accept a principal that is so basic to us, to many, I can't have that on me. I think he deserves the chance, but just needs to find it elsewhere. It's more complicated than this, naturally, but that's all I have to offer for it.

    And it is poor choices, sprung from a true, and difficult to accept, medical disorder. At least, as far as we know. The possibility that he's just good at pretending is also something that has crossed my mind. Often unbidden, but real and present nonetheless.

  3. I'm glad you are able to see that part, too...that perhaps he is just good at pretending. Many criminals I have met are very charming when they want to be, in order to get their way (usually they want a controlled substance from me). That's part of being a sociopath.

    I don't know your friend, so I can't comment on his personality, but I think the fact that you are willing to entertain the possibility that there may be something sociopathic about him points to your intelligence and the unlikelihood that you will be a "co-dependent", or "enabler". One can have a loving heart, and not be naive.

    I hope you know that I'm here for you, too, though obviously I can't be in person, I'm always there in spirit and whatever energies I can lend to you, dear friend...Laurel