I have been defiant against one thing or another most of my life, but I am glad to say it has been healing some, at least I am not getting all fired up anymore about little things.
Our local baseball team the Lewis-Clark State Warriors won the NAIA World Series Friday night. After the game I walked down to a convenience store to get a tall boy and relax a little.
There was a young woman in front of me at the check out fiddling with a lighter she had taken off the stand.
My immediate impulse was to buy it for her and I wish I would have followed up on it, but was afraid of how it would be perceived. She looked pretty young but was old enough to buy cigarettes at least.
When I was purchasing my order the clerk turned his back for just a second and I guess she thought I wasn’t looking, but I saw her slip that lighter, very smoothly into her purse.
So I went ahead and purchased her another one, which she was very grateful for.
Later, outside, I approached her in a kind way, and said she might want to think about giving the first one back. Well, she denied taking it, saying she had been caught stealing at sixteen and was done with it. I did not press it but it got me to reflecting on stealing and defiance in general.
One time when I was going through garbage cans in Portland, I looked up and looked around in such a way that I knew I had been a thief in a past life. I could tell at that moment I had done it out of sure defiance of either society in general or defiance of rich people in particular.
I was out behind the left field wall at the series and had lit up a cigarette absent mindedly. Well as you know you can not smoke anywhere within 1000 yards of somebody without somebody getting upset. I put it out when I saw the security guard approaching, in the past that may have been a battle for me that eventually would have involved the police.
One thing I have noticed is there are a lot of people in this world that feel unloved, like that young woman who stole the lighter, and it has become more important to me to try and convey love and kindness, than getting my back up over idiotic society rules and control games.
Now at some point in the future I may attend a meeting and speak my peace about the smoking regulations, but at that point I was enjoying some baseball and making all kinds of new friends.
Now there is some romance around stealing and defiance, take Robin Hood for example and Pretty Boy Floyd if Woody Guthrie told his story right. I am not going to judge it, I may even applaud it on occasion.
Like Rand Paul right now, taking on most of the Senate by his lonesome, protecting our right not to be spied on by our government. He is a gutsy guy and at this point in history we could use about 100 more just like him in Washington.
There is a saying in the Tao Te Ching that goes something like this: When two sides go to war or two people, the one without an enemy will win.
In other words it is ok to speak the truth and defend what is right, but do it with love in your heart for your enemy and not anger and hate.
On the streets I had a lot of anger for rich folks who did not seem to give one rip about anyone but themselves especially homeless women and children.
I knew the anger was wrong but it was where I was at back then. Through God’s grace that anger is much less now and I am starting to have compassion for all the humans on this crazy planet earth.
I still plan on fighting oppression when I come across it and for what is right from my perspective, but I will do it from a point of peace and compassion; because I am sure that is how my man Jesus Christ would want it done.