Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jesus Redux

The other day I had an encounter with the police. My friend was coasting through stop signs at 12am at night and they ended up stopping us. There were closed containers of beer in the front seat which the cops made seem like a big deal as they made sarcastic remarks about it and make my friend dump the beer. We are both over 18 which makes it perfectly legal for us to be transporting alcohol in the car. 

The issue him the ticket and send us on our way, after standing around for a good 15 minutes of them routinely trying to intimidate us. 

Later I learned that had we resisted dumping the beer, claiming the law which permits us to carry it, they had the power to arrest us on a bogus charge, just to have something to do. 

I'm sure that are a many people who encounter people who abuse power to feel strong. And it really sucks. I spend the last two days thinking about that from time to time and each time it only served to enrage me. My mind raced with ways to get back at that cop who said stupid shit to my friend. Him and his fuckin dip. I wanted to find a way to slap that shit out his mouth and get away with it.

These patterns of thought alarmed me. I realized there was something inherently wrong with this. And what I realized was that these guys don't really have THAT much of a choice. Depending on their life situation, their idea of 'self' may have been bruised. This is what causes people in general to behave this way. And not only that, fighting them back with harpoon into their sense of self would not be a smart idea either. 

It was only a few weeks earlier that I had realized something was no right in the way I was so adamant about arguing with some obnoxious guy in a friend neighborhood. People seem to jump on anyone they can hold responsible for ruining 'their' things. They do it because they feel violated. Whether or not it was really your intentions or carelessness, they take it personally and attack accordingly. This makes anyone being blamed indignant. "How the hell are you going to make such a big deal about this?! FUCK YOU you cunt bastard motherfucker!" These kinds of things go through my head when these situations arise.

But after realizing where its coming from, I knew that fighting darkness with darkness isn't the way to go. It just makes things worst. THIS is the very reason there are wars. THIS is the very reason the world cannot be brought to peace. 

The remedy in these situations? Having enough clarity to have compassion for these people. They know not what they do, as Jesus puts it. 

Forgive them 7 x's 70 times. 

 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

If ever you want to cast your stones, realize your own susceptibility to the lie and have compassion for those who are trapped by it. 

This is exactly what Jesus meant by all these words. 

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