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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Don't You Just Detest Them?

God or the justice system or our fellow man does not offer a guarantee that the playing field will be equal for us. Despite the lack of fairness inherent in living, we must carry on. This does not mean that we should restrict our views of righteous treatment or refrain from objecting to injustice. But, it does suggest that broad condemnation of groups of people is not productive nor necessarily wise. And, it certainly suggests that battering our brains out on an unmoving wall is rather fruitless.

How easy would it be to condemn a race, a religion, a profession on the actions of a few? Stereotyping those in a group of any kind is dangerous. When we do this, we lose touch with essential elements of trust. We refuse future contact and prejudge everyone in the group we hold accountable for our distress. Allowing ourselves to fall for guilt by association, we disallow the possibility of a wide range of opinion within one pool.

I was a teacher. I live in Appalachia. I have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and obsessively compulsive. How many wish to condemn these attributes and conditions? I have learned that a significant number would just as soon find faults in my condition rather than accept me as an individual. Some want to discount my opinion because I fit in those categories they detest. I see roadblocks and warning signs over and over. These impediments say "You're not like us and you're not wanted."

I accept the resistance and move along my own way in the face of those who judge. Why? I understand my weaknesses and problems are my own. I, alone, have helped create them and helped perpetuate them. I blame no one else for my existence or for my future. The Creator, other people, laws -- none of these is responsible for the stones in my pathway.

The truth of the matter is that complete justice or complete harmony or complete acceptance will never be achieved. The very fact that we are human predisposes every one of us to live among others who cannot understand us fully. Not a day goes by that another human being is not "sizing us up" or seeking an advantage to use us for his advancement. The perfect world is a gorgeous myth that exists only in our imaginations.

Long live crusaders, but long survive realists. I think a healthy dose of both philosophies insures us a sane life in an insane world. God knows I will always resist being treated unfairly; however, I have no problem with marching on -- continuing through what I perceive as an application of injustice. Life cannot be lived to its fullest if we insist on fighting every windmill blocking our paths. Likewise, to accept being a slave who remains mute in wrongful circumstances diminishes my standing. Jousts must be carefully analyzed before combat.

In the very worst cases of wrongful application, even in instances of man's inhumanity to man, an individual often rises above the group mentality to offer hope and life. Whether its Oskar Schindler in Nazi Germany or Hugh Thompson in My Lai, these people serve as models of behavior who know their immediate actions will save lives.

I attempt to conduct myself as a well-meaning individual in circumstances where group alliances prevail. In cases where a herd mentality threatens my understandings, I have the duty to question the threat and to investigate further. However, I do choose to be social, which implies that I find need for congregation. This membership does not make me, the individual, good or bad or otherwise. I am merely in the group; the group does not contain me.

People love to categorize and label others in neat, little clusters. After they take these actions, many of these same people see the need to criticize someone by attacking their aggregations. They do this because, to them, the entire group seems opposite to their beliefs. But, ask any of the antagonists and they will say, "I am doing this out of personal distaste." This means they "personally" hate groups. Shouldn't, in most cases, these disgruntled people engage the individual or the idea they hate instead of engaging the group?

In a Group

Democrats - unbearable
Republicans - so base
The Cops - just monstrous
Judges, Lawyers - bitter taste

Anglo Saxons - prejudiced
Afro Americans - using race
Spanish - illegal immigrants
Arabs - Godless disgrace

The Poor - dirty idiots
The Rich - greedy snobs
The Youth - mindless fools
The Seniors - fat old blobs

Homosexuals - disgusting
Addicts - so obnoxious
Ministers - judgmental
Atheists - preposterous

Presidents - base company men
Congress - greedy crooks
Teachers - just babysitters
Professors - outworn books

Soldiers - violent killers
Unwed Fathers - proud and boastful
Street Walkers - infectious vessels
Mailmen - all go postal

Withdraw from those with which you group
Don't hesitate to leave your friends
For the time you spend with company
Others judge a mighty worthless end

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