"They ought to be in jail," I heard her mumble under her breath. Where are the police when you need them? Really though, they were just kids being kids. Really not hurting anyone, just pushing to find the boundaries. But interestingly enough, the US has more than 7 million people in jail or probation. Of course, we also have the highest crime rate of any civilized country. About 50 people are murdered in the US every day. I understand that we have to protect the public from murder and violent crime, but who are the rest of these folks in jail? 1.4 million is a lot of people.
When I think of her comment my head spins a little. I wonder what those numbers would be like if we incarcerated everyone that offended us or we didn't like? Maybe prisons for our ex-employers? ex-spouses? Kids that skateboard by the no skateboarding sign? We need to do something!
We also like to keep our thoughts locked up, we think they are dangerous. If we express what we are really thinking we would go to jail, right? Worse yet, if we act on those thoughts can you imagine. Millions more would be in jail. What a murderous, violent bunch we really are.
Or maybe not so much. Somehow we have gotten confused about the rights and responsibilities of free will. With every right, there can also be a wrong. If we want to be free to make our own choices, then everyone gets the same freedom. If we are going to be truly free, we can only do that with respect and love for others. We need to control our worse impulses and put in place a perspective of tolerance and acceptance. If we want everyone to accept us for who we are, then we need to accept other for who they are. Can't just be one way.
All relationships, whether acquaintance, friend or lover require at their core acceptance and respect. And it has to work on both sides all the time. Without that, we might as well just be animals fight for dominance.
Take time to think out your dislikes and hates. Are they based in your own biases? Are they more about you than them? What happens if you stop hating? No, that doesn't mean you have to love everything, just respect it for what or who it is. What if we all just stopped trying to use the word "hate?" I suspect our incarceration and murder rate would drop considerably.
Anyway, I'd love to write more but my coffee cup is empty and I hate that. Well maybe not so much...