Thursday, October 27, 2016

Plain Jain


Saved telling.

I almost posted what would've been a world class rant totally demonizing someone for crimes against nature - literally. After all, I saw the photos that proved it. In my tiny way too worked up cranium, posting the evils of this one retailer's actions and blah blah blah...

Yessiree, I was getting on my very best sanctimony britches.

The ones with Destiny sewn in the elastic. Those fancy ass, lacy, crotchless ones.

And then, only seconds before I posted this public service message - I mean three freaking seconds away - something told me to hold on.

Voices like that irk me, yet I've existed in this mistake-prone body long enough to know that NOT pausing before I unloaded could be, well, regrettable. Wtf, I mused. So I took a minute to look a bit further into these crimes and a couple of mitigating elements presented themselves. A couple of big ones.

Damn. I mean, whew. No. Make that WHEW.

I would have gotten it wrong. By my oh so slowly evolved but definite standards, I would have gotten something very wrong...

Look. I know folks who'd still post it. Who might think me chicken for yanking the hissy fit post.

This guy, in their mind, never deserves forgiveness. He can never turn over enough new leaves to suit anyone. But I think I'll err in the other direction. Who knows when I'll require a similar stance of grace? Or when you'll need it?

You see, these things happened over a decade ago. I choose to believe that he not only regrets his crimes - OK I should at least say what the crimes were: He killed big game. As in lots of elephants. And I was gonna show the photos and urge people not to patronize his business.


Oh I can hardly fathom how noble an act it would have been for me to post that. (The sarcasm has arrived by barge, it seems.)

But in the checking out, I discovered that he doesn't merely regret what he did. He insists it haunts him.

There are those for whom even that will never be enough. After all, murderers of human beings are often repentant, but they still have to serve the time. We can't just go around forgiving people willy nilly, can we?

That'd be crazy.

Some of us get born never feeling the need to cause the death of any living thing. The curve on that is pretty big.

The people of the Jainist faith have the cleanest slates of all and in the strictest form of that no killing business: They even sweep the path before them so that they do not inadvertently step on a bug while walking. Seriously. And this is in India where it's almost impossible to take a bug free step.

(Jainists are also often naked which means, I imagine, they don't care about fashion, either. And I thought I was sacrificing to give up TV several years ago.)

Maybe having a mediocre soul is good enough for me.

For example, I own a degree of hypocrisy in that I prefer the company of empathetic omnivores to tight-assed vegans who spew graphic litanies about the rest of our murderous species.

I guess the only perfect people are vegans who don't advertise it.

Raised consciousness is a weird and mostly ineffable thing. It cruises the dark alleys of our souls, creeping, watching, waiting for that sly moment it worms its way into becoming a part of who we are.

Real raised consciousness can't be a force feed. And earlier, possessed by a relatively rare desire to harm another person's livelihood based on a flawed assessment of their behavior - easily a decade old - I was about to do something as short sighted, nasty, imperious and haughty in the trendiest way but think I was stopped by a particular kind of angel.

Angels are messengers and not all of them get to blow horns and announce great news. It occurs to me that there are battalions of angels with the decidedly unglamorous work of tugging our shirts, pretty much whispering, "Toots, you sure you wanna do that? Even if you're RIGHT, do you wanna use that shrill/whiny/bombastic/whatever holier than thou freaking tone to say it?"

If I could see the one who stopped me tonight, I'd buy him/her a drink. A stiff one. A double. Hey. Just because I can't drink doesn't mean I'm unsympathetic to those who deserve a belt of the good stuff.

Close calls aren't always the ones that nearly end our physical lives. Sometimes they're just times we narrowly avert internal disasters, the emotional kinds that are as painful as any flesh wound.

Not saying annihilating, judgmental, horrific things about the Attila the Huns of the world may not sound like much to be proud of. But the next time you're a witness to anyone who signed up for that job, lemme know how hard it was to watch.

Ecclesiastes and the time for everything is right. When we DO post something like that - no lie - it'll probably feel great. But we'll feel mighty adult in the meantime if we vet who we bully from these FB pages, these tiny little pulpits we all have.

After all. He's a guy who made good and in the fine, frenzied rush of all that new money, he decided to spend it in dreadful ways that he regretted sooner than many a sin on my own slate.

I am grateful for the angels who are watching the little things. I think.

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