Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wanna Hear God Laugh? Tell him/her Your Plans.

What if, in the course of trying to right a large wrong, I should inadvertently create a smaller wrong?   

Worse, what if the small wrong I created actually justifies or rationalizes the original injustice - I not only created a wrong, but hurt my original cause.  Yikes. The original injustice still standing, maybe now stronger and me, its attacker, weakened.  What do I do?  Shrivel? Defend? Apologize?

It is so easy to lose site of the original injustice, now shrouded in a victim's cloak. So many instances come to mind recently.  Paris, Selma, Wall Street.  Even today, rapists persist in holding a victim of rape co-accountable for the rape itself.

In the end though, the false claim of victimhood works against the injustice, even renewing energy in the fight against it.  You and I, we know when injustice is happening - even when we are causing it - no matter how many lawyers, guns or money are deployed in self-defense.  [Actually, there is an inverse correlation between how much lawyers, guns and money are used and how strong a position is.  Injustice really needs oppression to be successful.]

Theodore Parker [more or less] said that the arc of morality is long - you can't even see the end from here - but it bends toward justice.  What he meant, in less poetic terms is that injustice is unsustainable, but the battle against it might take a long time.

So, what do I do?  

Shrivel?  Hell no.  In this case, shrivel = capitulate and I do not have the right to capitulate against injustice.

Defend?  Again, hell no.  Defending myself validates them.  I did not do what I did to validate them, but to erase them.

So, apologize, then?  Yes - because that's exactly what I want them to do, along with cease and desist.  But how I apologize is very, very important.  If I get all emotional and go too far I could reinforce their false sense of victimization.  I need to be very, very sure to apologize for what I did, but not for why I did it.

My path may have changed forever.  I may need new plans.  But if I feel tempted to wish to go back and erase what I did, then I don't deserve my plans.  I hear God laughing.

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