Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mean People

I was walking to school this morning, and it was a beautiful morning: balmy, partly sunny, springlike, deceptively. And as I was walking up 15th Street toward the intersection with Grand, watching the little white walking man lighted up on the sign almost a block ahead, I started thinking again about how many people I have seen speed through the intersection, one of the busiest in this "city," on red lights, and how not only is that dangerous, but it's just plain selfish and mean.

And I thought about talking with the FFM last evening about whether people have choices in their lives, or to what degree they are able to make decisions, and I maintain that we have much more control over our own lives than perhaps... well, I think, for instance, that people can control whether or not they drive like Neil through a red light at a busy crosswalk, or whether or not they do commit hurtful or potentially hurtful acts toward others, whether people they know or not.

All this came from my bringing up a story on NPR about civil commitment of people who have committed sexual crimes, after their criminal sentence is served, because they are deemed a potential threat. Now, I've worked with many disturbed people over the years, including teens who were sexually molested as kids and have sexually molested other kids and genuinely are confused about what is "hurting" and what is "love." I imagine having a gun pointed at your head and the threat put out to you that the perpetrator will kill you if you ever tell anyone about how he expresses his love for you can be pretty... well... shite, psychologically damanging.

But really, there are plenty of options we have on a daily basis to make choices to hurt or not hurt people, and if we don't make the choice to not hurt, we are just damn mean, and we could mostly avoid that label- or could we?

All I know is when people scream through the red lights, I want to shoot their windows out, or maybe their tires so they go off the side of the road so I can walk up to them and hit them in the knees with a baseball bat and ask them if they like that feeling of being hurt.

I am a mean person.

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