Suppose that I would be considered a conservative politically, when measured by the views I exhibit in my personal writings, but, you would be wrong to think that, for I love the ultra-liberals, the farthest of the Left-Wingers, the tree huggers, for theirs is the way of my true self, the way of love and compassion, they believe in humanities highest ideals, our highest aspirations and I admire them for that.
I too believe in the possibilities of righteousness and human achievement. I too believe that all people should be fed, clothed and housed. I too see the earth as my loving mother and believe that I should honor her and protect her above all financial incentives; I am a bleeding heart about these things, I can’t help it; I love people and the earth and life. However my life experiences have taught me that those among us who truly, in their hearts, have those values, those ideals, are a very small minority in this world. My life experiences, from the schoolyard bully who pummeled me till I quit school, to the drunken father, the the abusive step-father, to the whoring step-mother, to the pipe-fitter who slandered me because I received a promotion he felt he deserved, to the mean-spirited candidates I ran for office against, to the busybodies who tried to make my time in office as difficult as possible, to the employees who tried to steal my business from me, to the cop who withheld evidence in my murder trial, to the prosecutor who manipulated the truth, to the judge who allowed it, to the convicts around me who physically, mentally and spiritually abuse the weak…well, you get the message. Yes, the reality of my life experiences has taught me that most folks, when given the chance, are not in tune with goodness, and I’m sorry to have to say that. My heart is bleeding for you, so, someone, please tell me that goodness and peace and children and the earth can survive. Please tell me that the world can be a better place than that which I have experienced in this life, for in truth, my experiences point towards a horrible destruction if we continue as we are. War, famine and environmental collapse – that’s what I see as not only the history of humanity, but the future as well.
In my heart, I know that “to turn the other cheek” is an action of the highest moral value. I believe that we can all agree on that, and that on the surface, to offer your coat to the thief who just robbed you of your wallet is to show the highest form of non-attachment to the ego. Nevertheless, I also know that if we as a people, as a nation, tried to put this virtue into practice that the whole fabric of society and world order would fall into chaos, because the wicked would take your wallet and your coat and slap you in the face afterwards and those in power like them would take possession of not only our lives but our livelihoods as well. Non-resistance is not an option in prison nor do I see it as an option in the free world; when it comes to dealing with bullies the stick is the only thing they understand. Intuitively I understand that the actions of universal love and compassion are the virtues upon which I want my children and my grandchildren to rest their morality, but I also know that, as a species, we are not there yet.
I hope and I pray that someday we will achieve an intelligent and loving society. I also pray that those who preach for it and those of us who, today, fight against it, will be equally remembered as correct, because the man who turns the other cheek is doing his duty as surely as the man who does not.
Peace be with you.
Three Rivers, 1-24-17