I’ve come a long road since my formulation as a wee hippy-wannabe tweener. Like most tree-hugging liberals, my main purpose in life has always been to save the world. Tranquility, equality, prosperity, equity, dignity, all those “itty” things that would create a common good. I even danced with the idea of vegetarianism. Basic biology and my need to keep my sugar leveled out and replenish my iron trumped that.
Even through the angsty teen years and the wildness of my twenties, I held strong to those ideals, working to be sure that I never became that which I opposed. I was every bit “be the change you want to make” and a non-violent flower child. I took in stray people, handed out money like it was an endless fountain, and helped anyone I could.
Entering adulthood, I learned to forgive. A LOT. Pasts, parents, myself, and the frailties of those around me who other people broke. To the point, I might add, that I am almost a magnet for the broken, most survivors like me, others serious whack jobs.
I still try and do one random act of kindness a day. I never tell the story when I do. Today, it bummed me out, every day presents at least one… and an old man was struggling to get his empty garbage can up his steep, long driveway. I couldn’t stop, there are appointments that can’t wait. Non-random kindness was more important this time. Still I feel bad for not stopping the car and taking the 30 seconds to do it.
But through all this, running parallel but equal was a fierce survival instinct. A pragmatism born of the abuse, I suppose. Or maybe it would have been my nature in a perfect world. I know what people are capable of with the heightened awareness of the hunted. I want a higher angel world, but there was not a moment in that history that I wasn’t aware of monsters.
So, for those on the Left, is the capacity for violence, the justification for violence, or the preparation for violence automatically make you what you despise?
What about my guns? What about freedom fighters? What about revolutionaries? What about protecting those you love from those who would kill them without a thought?