1) Did you ever see the movie Duel? In the movie, a man (Dennis Weaver) is driving on a desolate desert road on a business trip and is being harassed by the driver of an 18 wheeler. As the movie progresses, we learn, as does the Dennis Weaver, that the truck driver is trying to kill him. There is no reason for the truck driver to want to kill him, just that there is no one to stop him. You never see the truck driver’s face during the movie. You never hear his voice or his thoughts, but you know that he is messing with this man because no one is watching and no one can stop him. It is the ultimate bullying movie.
2) I once saw a video of an old lady crossing the road. She fell asleep and a man in a Mercedes starts honking and gunning his engine at her. She wakes up and hits the front of his car with her purse, causing his airbag to inflate.
3) Two days ago, I was in a cross walk. A car was waiting for me as I walked. When I was a foot out-of-the-way, the lady in the car FLOORED the car, coming very close to me as it zoomed past.
Incident # 3 made me think of 1 and 2, and of Johnny Cash, and of the public we interact with daily. Messages about love and compassion from religion and the more secular Golden Rule are absolute failures. Most people, it seems, out of the watchful eyes of authorities or peers, will kill you where you stand, just to watch you die.
It breaks my heart that this is the truth of our world. Some people use this truth as an excuse to be horrible too. “What the fuck does it matter?” they must think. It’s a dog eat dog world.
Maybe I am a naive idealist, but I don’t want to live this way. I do not want to be that example to my kids.
I will say the serenity prayer again, and know that the only way I can change the world is to change myself. You cannot make someone kind, but you can be kind. But remember, kindness does not mean weakness. I have learned this along the way. And I have learned to stand up for myself and not take shit off these blood-sucking assholes.
Having infinite kindness does not mean you have to be a punching bag!
“Human beings will continue to deceive and overpower one another. Basically, everyone exists in the very nature of suffering, so to abuse or mistreat each other is futile. The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request.”– His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from “The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom.”