new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Law is my Mother

Apparently there have been a number of cases of pedestrians walking into the paths of oncoming emergency vehicles and receiving injuries and occasionally death for their carelessness. The cause is earphones, or more specifically the music screaming from them into the eardrums of those with the aforementioned items inserted into their ears.

Deafened by their audio entertainment, they step forward, oblivious of rapidly approaching catastrophe. Pedestrians can be pretty stupid. Lazy. Reckless. Careless. Pedestrians are people. Speeding emergency service vehicles are not.

Anyway, I've heard a suggestion from some relevant authority; one of the blessed and chosen ones who speak publicly on behalf of others and have the pleasure of witnessing their wise counsel reduced to silly soundbites. He said, he thinks we need a law to force earphone users to only plug one ear when they are in public.

Awesome idea. Let's disengage police officers from crime fighting duties to arrest people for using two ear phones to listen to their mobile music players in public. Let's beat them with canes in public so people learn to act more sensibly, and take more thought with their actions, and the possible consequences of said actions.

I love laws which attempt to protect people, not from others, but from themselves. What about a law that forces people to brush their teeth twice a day. We have a shortage of dentists, so if people take better care of their teeth, they won't need dentists. Let's publicly abuse people with poor oral hygiene to make sure they get the point. Humiliation is great for modifying behaviour.

We need the law to be our mother: to tell us what to do and to threaten punishments if we don't obey. Finally, a law I would really like to see introduced is one that makes it illegal for my wife to say that I don't listen to her. Are you with me fellas?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Design Flaws

British adventurer, Ranulph Fiennes once said, when talking about preparing a team for an Artic region expedition, that "human beings are very badly designed for getting on with each other. Basically they don't. if you put two of them into a confined space like your average home you get, at the moment, a one in three divorce rate which is just a symptom of this bad design factor."

Are we poorly designed for good relationships? We have many of them, but is that because there's something wrong with the way we were made, or with the we behave, or the choices we make? Is there something wrong with us? We certainly have the capacity for healthy relationships.

If we only talk about our bodies then we have to take our hats off and give a standing ovation to our Designer. The human body is an engineering masterpiece. An unbelievably sophisticated machine. Yet one which is susceptible to the poison spread by microscopic bacteria and viruses. Should we have been better constructed to be impervious to infection? Perhaps that is a question for another day...or one for your Maker when you meet Him.

The complexity of our design extends to the area of our intellect and our emotions, and to the interplay between them and the x-factor known as free will. We have the ability to make good and bad choices and therefore the ability, at least potentially, to have both good and bad relationships. We can choose right. We can be selfless. The problem is we often lack the power to choose wisely and lovingly at crucial moments of human interaction. When humility is required. When compassion, and forgiveness are required. Can you rightly describe this failing, on our part, to properly exercise the gift of free will, as a flaw in our design?

I believe my Creator is perfect, and He made me in His image. If He created all of us in His image, why are we so messed up?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Masochist Within

We must all be masochists. Gluttons for punishment. When it hurts we cry a river then we run back for a second helping. Please sir, can I have some more? We fall but we struggle up on our feet again. We want what we can't have and we drive ourselves insane in futile pursuit of it. Or if do we achieve the desired outcome, we find it's taste is not as sweet as we imagined and are forced to pretend it is delicious. We are fearlessly fragile. Knowing we are broken and vulnerable doesn't stop us from lining up for more pain. We warmly embrace suffering. We are mad, aren't we?

There is an alternative lifestyle available. It is peaceful and harmless, and experiencing the pleasure it promises only requires our surrender. All we need to do is give up. Stop trying. Stop striving. Want nothing more than what you have. Don't love anyone or allow them to love you because that is way too risky. Close your heart. Close your mind. Block out the misery and misfortune of others. Don't try to change what cannot be changed. Accept injustice.

How does that sound? Sounds to me like the pain is worth it. I choose option A. Thank you very much. I'm not going to go searching for trouble and problems but I'm not going to faint with fright when they come, and they will come. Nor am I going to run away. I choose to fight though I may suffer injury. I already carry the scars of previous battles and I cherish them. They have made me who I am. I won't invite suffering into my life, that would be stupid, but when it comes, and it will come, I will welcome it as irrefutable evidence that I am alive. I am really living not just passing the time. If that makes me a masochist...so be it.