Friday, April 19, 2013

Doing the Impossible Today

Here's the thing.  As the inimitable  has pointed out many times, *people who do evil things do not tend to think of themselves as evil.*  They have a frame of reference informing their actions that says they are enacting revenge, or meting out deserved punishment, or enacting the will of a higher being, or serving their religion/people/country, or otherwise performing a service in the name of something that is to them worthy.

While they might on some level understand that the killing and maiming of people is an evil act, it can be rationalized -- it's war, it's destroying evildoers, it's following orders, it's duty -- it's something that makes the evil act something that can be done.  Anyone is capable of doing evil, given the right situation and the right set of rationalizations. This has been demonstrated in plenty throughout history, in the laboratory, and outside of it.  It isn't a mystery, an enigma, a strange thing.  

It's pretty damned common.

That isn't what bothers me.  That isn't the thing.  The thing is that, when we are the victims of someone else's evil act, so many people immediately start wanting to encourage similar evil acts in revenge.  They suddenly have justification, and yet they do not see their desires as being evil.  And that begets more evil acts, which in turn beget yet other evil acts.  Each action spreads out ripples that affect others without end.  It just keeps going and going and going.

Ghandi said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."  We are just increasing the blindness when we seek revenge, when we want retribution.    When we hurt and we want to make others hurt, we are not healing anything.  We spread the pain, and that pain will eventually ripple back to us and hurt us again. And hurting others because we hurt might give us a momentary satisfaction, but it doesn't restore lost lives and lost limbs.  It doesn't restore lost faith and lost innocence.  It just increases the loss.

It's hard to hate the sin and love the sinner, as Ghandi also said.  Sometimes it's well nigh impossible.  It's hard sometimes to separate justice from revenge.  It's hard not to be ruled and overruled by anger and hatred.  But Anger and Hatred sets the bombs, kills the bombers, directs the drones,  inspires new bombers, kills new victims.  It ceases to be about the first cause, the first thrown stone, the first death, the first place to lay the blame.  It becomes about the last cause, the stone tossed down, the life saved,  the forgiveness given.

It is not easy.  Not easy at all.  Maybe it's impossible.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Changes and Changes and Changes

It's been an interesting few weeks around here.

First, some weeks ago Amazon and Goodreads -- my long loved book-sharing social site -- got into bed with each other.  Now, Amazon, in my opinion, is one icky boyfriend.  So, after some thought and conversation, I picked up all my data and moved it over to LibraryThing.  LibraryThing ain't Goodreads (and Goodreads ain't LibraryThing -- apples and oranges, friend,  sharing only that they are both fruit). and it's been something of an adjustment.  It also means all my reviews on this blog no longer exist and I have to do some housecleaning.

Housecleaning has NOT been a top priority of recent days, so, it's not done yet.  I'll get to it eventually.

Second, I'm busy trying to make some writing things happen.  Theoretically, I should have two stories coming out in digital publications this month and next month.  I'm also working on a self publishing project with an excellent artist, +Juan Ochoa , who just wows me with his artwork but who's been hitting one roadblock after another.  So I'm trying to be involved and encouraging without being a pain or a stressor.  I'm excited it is happening at all.

Third, my brain and I are going through spring malaise.  My sleep schedule is totally screwed -- I slept 14 hours last night, around the clock and thensome, and I could go right back to bed now.  But the night before, I had the worst time getting to sleep.  So, it's screwing with everything else.  I have to get that in control.  Brain is resisting any attempts to do work.  When I bear down and make it happen, it's half-assed and exhausting.  Bleah.  I blame spring.  Spring is lovely, but next to summer it's my least favorite season.  I keep best at temps between 60 and 75 degrees fahrenheit.  Also, pollen.  The Husband says that I've started snoring to equal his own nocturnal symphony.  This does not thrill me, as it indicates breathing problems and other nastiness.  What's funny is that I'm sleeping so deeply that I don't wake myself up.  In the past, my own snoring has awakened me.

But I'm feeling reasonably brighter today than I have most of the week.  It's very humid so the A/C is on, and while it's actually rather lovely outside, I'm staying in.  I haven't taken pills yet today -- it's so late in the day!  but pills must be ingested or disaster occurs.  Also, a little bit of caffeine.  Then some more laundry.  It is taking me forever to catch up the laundry.

So, last of all, I'm thinking novel thoughts -- thoughts about the novel, about the next scene, about where I left off, about what my coach has talked over with me, about actually writing.  That's the boulder I'm rolling up hill these days.  No writing, just thinking.

In news of the strange, however, I had a Mythbusters dream last night -- at least, Adam and Jamie showed up in my dream for some project ot other, and were both thoroughly  nice guys.  No drama, just an interesting dream.  Oh, and I got something in my dream eye that Jamie helped me get out.  It was just one among many, many dreams, but celebrity dream visitations are always worth a mention.