Watching the news any day presents you with one of the true anomalies of the instant communication world in which we now live. The extremes of human behavior are exhibited all too quickly before our eyes.
It got me to wondering. Do alien races scattered throughout the universe also have extremes living among them? I mean did ET have an evil ET living on his home planet?
You wouldn’t think that such would be the case would you? I mean, any reasonable look at humanity might suggest that just the opposite might be likely. We all have the same basic needs and desires in life. We all seem to intuitively (grace given?) understand basic right and wrong. Yet, our behavior has such a broad range of evil to supreme good, it is hard to fathom at times.
When we look at science fiction, we can say that we are all over the map on the this. Some shows and movies have started from the premise that an entire planet is just plain evil. If you watched early episodes of Star Trek, the Klingons were thought to be evil and warlike in a fairly complete way. On the other hand, the episode “Let that be Your Last Battlefield” posed the situation of a planet torn by two sides, each considering the other evil, while their side was benign.
So, typically it seems, we are of two minds here. And I am not sure why this is.
It hit me dead in the face this morning. As you may guess I start my day with GMA. I’ve mentioned them several times over the past few months, so I assume you figured that out. Not for the high level of rhetoric do I watch. It is particularly because it serves me soft news and laughter and lots of fluffy stuff. It’s how I need to start the day. MSNBC, FOX, or CNN would be too harsh that early. I ‘d have offed myself in protest by now, assuming no planet could survive such dismal news.
I chuckled a bit at the first, and shook my head. What more would you expect?
This story originated last year in April or so, but has got new legs given the financial debacle that is our economy. It seems that the Madam, Kristin Davis who is pictured here on her way to court, has some customers that are a bit more interesting today than they were last year.
Ms. Davis who ran a “high class” call girl business pled guilty to the usual tax issues that one associates with such a business and served a few months in the slammer. At that time, all were a titter about her client list, but of course the names that were of interest were politicians and celebrities.
The story returns to the public with a twist. It seems that among the thousands of names on her list were a huge number of corporate biggies from, you guessed it, Wall Street. Included were any number of financial wizards who are employed or were employed by all those now infamous financial houses that have fallen into the cesspool of mismanagement.
It seems that perhaps one reason this is so, is that it is clear now that said heat seeking missiles were paying for their nights of fun with corporate funds. Yes, you got that right. Ms. Davis ran her little house of whores under the name “Davis Investments” and the financial wiz heads were paying her in company expense funds. The poor shmucks down in accounting never thought that so innocent a receipt was for doing the nasty on the company dime.
Kristen is in the news again, mostly because she offered the list of her clients to the NY Prosectors office, and they were singularly uninterested in pursuing this wrongdoing on the part of Wall Street. Now, that was not tax payer money, of course, but still, it reminds us all of the culture of greed and entitlement that was so rampant in the business. No doubt that had a huge effect on the ensuing implosion of the US economy, and more specifically the credit market.
Once again, we are faced with unspeakable greed. The royalty of Rome and Versailles would have been jealous, or proud as the case may be, of how our men on Wall Street have lived the life of entitlement. I say men, knowing that a woman or two no doubt did the same, but this does seem to be a male issue doesn’t it? Once again we see the worst that the human genetic free for all can produce don’t we?
Following that story, was one that touches the heart and gives hope again to the spirit.
Here Erwin Wilson meets with Representative John Lewis. Mr. Wilson had assaulted and severely beaten Congressman Lewis many years ago when Lewis was working in the south to eradicate among other things, a white-only waiting room.
Wilson talked openly of how he and his friends assaulted many blacks in those years. Although not raised as a racist, he became one, he thinks through peer pressure. He remained one for years. Age, Mr. Wilson is 72, may have played some part in his conversion, as well as the election of Barack Obama, and his faith. All came together finally and caused him to seek out Mr. Lewis and apologize formally for his behavior.
This speaks to many issues of course. It gives hope to all of us that the human mind, conditioned by years of hate, can change and reform. Love can overcome evil and hatred in the world. The fear of judgment can actually cause people to rise to a higher level.
Still, I am caught in the apex of the violent and pointed juxtaposition of these two stories. They are not unique as I alluded to. Instant communication simply makes them easier to find. In truth, such stories are out there every single day awaiting our discovery.
What in us gives us the ability to be so kind and loving and so cruel and unthinking, so altruistic and at the same time so deeply self involved? What is it that allows people who destroy and thumb their nose at the world to sleep at night given the specter of people around the globe who give all from their want?
The lesson, I suspect to be learned, is that we are not witnesses to two wildly divergent “types.” We are witnesses, I would argue, to two parts of ourselves. We are all, equally able to be both, or either. There are a thousand and ten reasons why one succumbs to self idolatry and another does not. But, just because one has fallen,doesn’t mean that one can’t redeem oneself in an instant. And the saint is but a second away from disgrace.
If that doesn’t cause you to fall to your knees in prayer, I don’t know what will. We are all just two people, and God willing, the good wins out among most of us most of the time. At least that’s the way it seems to me.