It’s probably very difficult for the aging curmudgeon to look at an article like this:
… concerning the murdered girl and not think the writer soft in the head or wishy-washy. Or else we just say yeah, yeah, all good stuff and move onto the nitty-gritty of the latest outrage by Choudray, Osborne or whoever.
When Cherie and JD say positive thoughts trump outrage, they have a point. My counterpoint of course is that it’s fine saying don’t worry be happy but if we have dystopia thrust upon us, then a reluctant Dad’s Army must take up arms to oppose evil.
However, there’s a lot of power in this “good thoughts” thing. If they begin to outnumber negative thoughts in the society, become more the norm, if instead of giving way to anger like Anakin Skywalker at Palpatine’s invitation, it’s in effect stymying evil, which is depending on the natural desire for vengeance.
I’m speaking politically here, not religiously. The way to stop something is not to go down the path prepared for us to go down. If someone blows up a Catholic family in Belfast and no one actually does anything but condemn the atrocity, doesn’t actually go over and kill a Protestant family, then the oxygen that evil is hoping to ignite the flame with gets switched off.
Trouble is that the voice of reason, the voice of caution and wisdom gets snuffed out sooner or later.
Meredith may well have been a good person with good thoughts – something acknowledged by all sides – but that sort of thing only provokes the inadequate and sleazy to rage against Little Miss Goody Twoshoes. It’s the same as innocence not allowed to be – someone has to come along and ruin it.
It’s this factor which keeps the cycle of violence going – she can’t be allowed to keep showing up her housemate. No good deed goes unpunished, no good person goes unkilled.
Theodore Roosevelt had it right when he said to speak softly and carry a big stick.
The power of ego
There’s ego and ego. There’s the type which is ostentatious, which is actually inadequate and tries to compensate for that and then there is the man or woman who simply knows him or herself. With similar people around, then everyone gets on with his/her own business, they come together for a drink, they help out if someone’s in trouble, they’re in control of themselves.
They can open a bottle without succumbing to it, see a female figure without getting lost in porn. They let none of these things master them. They can’t be co-opted or press-ganged by ideology, be told what to do, their ambition is not their Achilles heel, they’re not so dependent on the favours of a woman that they’d fight to the death over her.
They take adversity in their stride, hard though it is. In anger, they say it’s best they go away and cool down first, kick a wall, come back later and deal with it. There were once so many of these people because they had role models in the generation before.
Ego needn’t be overweening – it might just seem that way to the inadequate.