i remember the moment vividly--sitting, alone, since my parents had gone up to receive communion, listening, truly listening, to the words of the liturgical call-and-response--"for his great love, is without end". and what did my ears discover among the reasons to conclude that "for his great love is without end"? it still amazes me and galls me and leaves me just an ocean full of righteous indignation short of dumbstruck that hundreds of congregants could have sung the words without ever hearing them... a paean to the death of children... a celebration of an entire collection of other horrible plagues... and then to realize that hundreds of thousands of congregants must regularly raise their voices in praise for the very same butchery in hundreds and thousands of other churches around the globe every week...
so this week i've again been reminded of my childish innocence lost, once again agape at the words that people will say, and the ideas that people will try to coerce upon others. don't like what they make you do at your job? be a man. return to your desk and get back to your piece-work. it's important to feed your family. want to confide in your family the toll it takes upon you? selfish man... it's your job to put bread on the table, and the quality and abundance of that bread is the sole measure of your worth...
"wax on, wax off" (audience snickers optional) was mr. miagi's method to teach stillness of mind to one impressionable karate kid. the dharma of ones occupation is an easy conceptual step from there, to be reminded that all jobs are simply to be done, not questioned. and so i think of the very same "love" (dharma? zen?) that leads the world to simply work, and thus enable those whose direction we follow in the pursuit of our occupations... and i think, just as we have followed bush to war, and much like others have followed their own leaders to war before us, we make the sacrifices necessary to wage such wars as a part of our "jobs" as citizens, and we accept the certain compromises we are asked to make in order to continue our diligent toil... the hyperbole is easy: to allow those in power to suspend civil rights... (not our job to question). to allow them detain without warrant or due process... (if we raise an objection, are we not stepping beyond our place?) is it so far a path from there to standing guard at the camp, and rationalizing to ourselves that we are simply the guards, and have no duty beyond simply being guards, and not to question?
nah, that's all mind-fuck bullshit. just shut up and bring home that paycheck.
i made a terrible mistake. i made many. i will pay for them for the rest of my life.
but i'll be damned if i'll make more in the name of dr. miagi.