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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Forgiveness and Punishment

Gentlemen, there's been talk on the old Common Man blog about consequences, specifically those that don't happen to bullies, gangsters, and other miscreants as often as they should.  Well, the rest of us actually do face them, but it's not always guaranteed.  Why is that, we wonder?

Many of us believe there is some form of Supreme Being who metes out rewards and punishments, not just in the afterlife but in this life.  But how does this Omnipotence decide who gets what?  It's not as clear-cut as Santa Claus making a "nice list" and a "naughty list," and we don't always get gifts!

Here's my theory:

(1)  Free Passes:  Some of us try to live our lives with a little bit more discipline than others.  Call it a moral code, a higher calling, whatever you'd like to call it.  However, even those in this group can slip up, screw up, or even fudge details once in a blue moon.  Once these people do it, they get credit against any likely consequences due to their overall character.  Accordingly, this is why sometimes our L-D can "let things slide," because He's is confident that this is not happening more than once or twice in a thousand instances.

(2)  Lack of Responsibility:  Every now and then, however, some of us will really do someone else wrong.  Maybe a break-up without a make-up.  Maybe a little white lie that turned ugly colors.  Maybe a zig when a major zag was required.  And maybe we've either (a) given a half-assed apology just to shut someone up; or (b) not cared.  When this happens, you're more likely to receive a come-around in your face in response to the go-around you caused.  Chances are, it'll be sticky, unpleasant, and possibly expensive.  But once you realize it's got you, stop fighting it and ride it out.  You may not have been forgiven for your misdeeds, but once you've paid the price, keep the receipt!  Learn from it.  Discipline yourself.  And once its over, even if nobody else wants to forgive you, forgive yourself.  Maybe after a while you'll earn another free pass.

(3)  Some People Just Don't Get It:  Even when some people do receive their well-deserved comeuppance, it doesn't change anything.  Personally, I know of a former bully who had punishment rained on him later in life.  Spent well more than four years in college with no actual major or job prospects, still lives with his parents, and has barely any friends.  Did this humble him?  Not in the slightest!  He's still the same in-your-face, might-makes-right tough guy he was before!  And then there was another guy who was the consummate BS artist who took advantage of those who weren't as slick as he was.  His fiancee left him, he maxed out his unemployment, and also went to live with his parents.  Did that teach him a lesson?  Oh please!!!!!!!  If these characters would only put two and two together, they'd be able to actually get through their punishment and save the receipt, as described above.

Anybody out there know someone who has consequences coming their way and doesn't get it?  I probably do, but I've agreed to stay away from controversial topics for the time being.

Feel free to comment and like!