Have you ever stopped, given it thought and realized just how simple, how frightfully easy it is to fuck up not just your own life (and quite frankly, it’s yours… do with it as you please!), but someone else’s? One careless word – or a string of very well-placed ill-meaning ones, carefully manipulated circumstances or actions and one can in essence, alter the course for someone else, just like that (yep, I just snapped my fingers).
I have been giving this particular topic some thought lately as part of what I now consider my “Addressing Actions” series. The list of topics that are not only dearest to me, but are at the top of the list I value and reference most often throughout my day-to-day interactions. Topics that include, loyalty, accountability, morality, accountability, honesty, accountability, dependability, accountability, duplicity, accountability. Yes, that list that allows for choice, for freedom, for expression; but that promotes and emphasizes above all else, the acceptance of accountability for the afore-mentioned actions. Now you know…
So like I was saying – lately I have been giving much thought to how, by indulging one’s God given right to exercising the freedom to live life as we choose, we may trample on another’s to do the same. As if we draw sustenance for ourselves, from someone else. The thinking that mandates in all our decisions, actions and conversations we implement the ‘survival of the fittest” doctrine. A constant and endless parade of behaviors that are steeped in the notion that “it’s either you or me;” foolishly not realizing that in that, with that mentality the outcome oftentimes is, “neither you nor me.” Sigh.
Historically (and I do mean that literally), we can trace and document the path of destruction carved out of words and actions that were both carefully and manipulatively tossed around. Rulers, kings, queens, peacemakers, celebrities, parents, children, the unborn… all have been negatively touched by the hand of destruction. But, so have the wicked (and yes, “the wicked” can also be counted among the rulers, kings, queens, celebrities, parents, children). So, because I absolutely enjoy the scratching of the head process that denotes my confusion, I scratch my head in wonderment that people still indulge in behaviors where both the action and the outcome are very well documented; and as a result, oftentimes transparent and laughable.
From a lay-person’s perspective I am both awed and floored by bad behavior. Don’t misunderstand, I have indulged in some in my past (nope… I behave now!) and, I do recognize how easy it is to sometimes fall. I do. I understand that at times, refraining from doing the less-than-stellar-thing takes (1) way too much time and (2) way too much energy. I accept that human beings are quite lazy. I also concede the unfortunate point that pain, humiliation, anger and a misguided sense of justice or retribution take our hand sometimes and lead us to the fork in the road, nudging us to head in the two wrongs can make a right direction. Got it. But, it doesn’t.
Listen, pain and I have been incredibly intimate. To this day, he (pain) still attempts to convince me it would be such a fantastic idea if we were to, at the very least, continue to fuck around. I have disrespectfully declined! I avoid him literally like the plague! But I raise his and my past history to address this point – because of it, because of the feelings I have had, I could easily and convincingly tell myself to indulge in thought-processes that then lead to behaviors and actions that I then dip in (self) righteousness. I can allow myself the freedom to do unto others as I feel they have done unto me – sucking from the world what I have convinced myself is now owed. Or, I can recognize the wisdom in this: “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind…”
I recognize pain. Probably because of it I demand and depend on loyalty. More so than love. I believe in my right to indulge myself and chase after (and catch) my happiness. I do not however usurp my right to that over another’s; and certainly not so over those I care about. Because well, doesn’t that then nullify my assertion of caring about? Listen, here’s the thing: one of the truly magnificent things about life, about our lives, is that there are choices… constantly. We have been blessed with the option to do this, that, the other and sometimes, even the other-other. Truly. God hooked us up good with that! But I am not speaking of the right/wrong thing; in that I am truly black or white; not one fucking shade of grey! I am addressing the decisions and actions that may seem so blasé to us, the ones we feel are a simple process of our right to something. The ones that can be executed this way, that, or the other; not black or white. But that may rub up against someone else.
I am sitting back to watch the gathering of marbles – someone’s attempt at “divide and conquer” – the systematic destructive placement of words and actions that are geared toward just one desired outcome – someone else’s loss. It reminds me of the failed veiled attempts by others in power, of influence and supposed leadership. It reveals and highlights to me that in life, in this life we have been extremely fortunate to have been granted, choice is our right. The choice to live right or fuck up. But (as I smile), accountability is also a right.
“Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices…”