The reason I was kicked out of kindergarten (stop laughing) was barracks lawyering. (Really stop laughing.)
What I normally don’t say is that the barracks lawyering wasn’t even on my behalf (REALLY stop laughing.)
Because I came from a relatively well known family, and frankly because my mom and grandmother were fearsome women, I was mostly left alone. When, after that, I proved a willingness to not only talk back but think circles around the teacher, I was really left alone.
But there was this girl whom — for who knows what reason — the teacher couldn’t stand. Because of that, this girl could do no right. If she coughed she was being cheeky, and should be punished.
I was five, I wasn’t stupid. And I could see that what was happening to this girl was wrong. Really wrong. So I started going to war on her behalf. (REALLY stop laughing.)
The teacher tried to appease me with candy, and eventually with a glow in the dark rosary (glow in the dark anything was THE hot thing in the village at the time.)
When those failed to work to distract me from her blatant injustice, which was getting my dander up, she took me by the hand and walked me back to grandma, who was told not to send me back ever.
Yes, I can see you guys laughing. But the thing is, this is one way I’m broken. But it’s not uncommon. It’s just, I think, that other people have a greater tolerance/sense of self preservation/keep their mouths shut more.
And it’s not, btw, that I like confrontation. I hate it. Which is why I’ll swallow any number of issues that affect me. But seeing blatant injustice to OTHERS, where I know they’re not culpable (with oneself, one is never sure) will get me moving faster than anything else.
I was thinking about this three weeks ago, while we were flying: We were standing in line to board near a little family: father and mother, chubby toddler-boy maybe just at the edge of speech, and cherubic maybe 3 year old girl.
The little boy was still at the crawling age. When the parents weren’t noticing, the little girl would stomp on her brother’s hands. And if he pulled them back, she’d go after him again. After a while he started wailing. The mother picked him up, but never noticed what her daughter was doing. The daughter then took the opportunity (I presume under “fairness” to ask to be picked up by the father.
And I thought: That girl is going to grow up to be a piece of work.
We all know people like that. We all, our whole lives, have watched people like that get away with cr*p.
It’s a great part of our need to believe in justice greater than human. Because I’m sure even if I’d intervened and told the parents what the little cherub would have been up to they’d turn on me. (There was that look to the whole thing.) They wanted to believe that little girl was an angel. And she’s going to make them think badly of her brother by the time the poor thing can talk.
This is why even now, even though I’m more sophisticated, there is some satisfaction in reading that sort of book where the evil little girl grows up to be miserable, while the little boy gets rewarded.
I think it is that ‘thirst for justice’ that drives a lot of the crazy political movements. The problem being of course, that movements are easily infiltrated and controlled by the man and conniving little girls.
And who knows? Maybe they convince themselves they’re good somehow, because they’re compensating for their private and personal evil by their public and anonymous “good.”
Which is not good at all, most of the time, since they’re bending it to their aims.
My husband has lately added to “you can’t hug every cat” when I feel the need to save/help someone and we don’t have the resources, “You can’t fight every dragon.”
And he’s right. As with that little horror in the airport, I’ll have to leave justice in other hands.
However, the incident was good for reminding me that there is true evil. Evil that is that way because it LIKES to be evil and can get away with.
This is not “I had a rough childhood” or “society caused me to be this way.”
There are any number of people (maybe even a majority, I have no idea) who simply enjoy hurting others, with a bonus of getting some benefit to themselves, if they can.
Knowing that, one cannot believe in “social justice.” No two people are alike, and even the most technically “oppressed” group has elements in it that will exploit any attempts at redress. At the same time the crusaders, campaigning for justice will inevitably include a large number (if not a majority) of these evil people, who are in it, not to lift the oppressed group but to hurt those they want to hurt.
Make your justice small, direct, applied. Make your charity the same. The bigger the group, the more chances it’s been perverted.
Oh, and raise your kids yourself, if you can. Institutions are notorious for giving the upper hand to sneaky evil. Every one of us who has been in a school or group babysitting arrangement can attest to that.
And if you can’t raise them yourself, be sure whoever is raising them actually pays attention to them, as individuals.
You can’t bring justice to everything and everyone, but you can train kids out of some of the worst behavior early. And maybe they — and society — are better off for that. They’re certainly not worse.
You can’t fight every dragon. But you can fight the baby one who is burning a hole under your sink. Before it gets to big.
And as for me, I can’t promise I won’t sometimes get the dander up and go give St. George a hand. And even a glow in the dark rosary won’t distract me.