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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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A Christmas Wish

December 22nd, 2009 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, is it just a blip in the cosmic ebb and flow or is there a tsunami of anger building out there? Forget about H1N1. It could be that the real pandemic is running rampant in the hearts of the dispossessed.

I saw a manifestation of it yesterday. I was walking out of a shopping mall parking lot. There is a major mall expansion in progress so the sidewalks are missing in places. Two men where walking on the side of the mall ring road. An impatient driver honked his horn and gestured at them for no good reason. It didn’t take more than a half turn of the wheel to manoeuvre around them,

The wise thing for the two men to do would have been to say “His problem. Not mine.” and continue on their way. But alas, they didn’t. They were, it seems, predisposed to lash out. The confrontation went something like this:

“What’s your f___ing problem?!”

“Get off the f___ing road!”

“You ^!*$*,… $%#@,… &%) !! There’s no f___ing sidewalk!”

“F___ you!”

The inevitable one finger salute followed with another round of two of expletives. I thank God that the driver did not stop which I feared he would. There is no question in mind that a violent incident would have erupted. All of this on a Sunday six days before Christmas. So much for peace on earth and good will toward men.

There are a multitude of emotional stress factors that could account for the short tempers. It has been a brutal year in the economy. Jobs evaporated, investments tanked, mortgages were foreclosed and dreams were shattered. Such things do unfortunately bring out the worst in people.

Far be it from me to condemn the players in this shadow play. They may well have been at the end of their rope. When that happens it’s a short commute to bitterness. In that mindset we’re ever on the alert for someone to unleash our venom on.

The problem is that anger is not a release. It is a self-perpetuating emotion that feeds on itself like a tornado. Spinning ever faster and faster until it’s almost impossible to turn off.

It is also a blinding emotion. Once you’re in the throes of it you can’t see anything but your own insulated and too often warped point of view. This is how the flame of violence is lit. This is how the seed of hatred is planted. This is how wars begin that never end.

I believe there is a brief moment of light in this descent into fury. A moment when deep down inside we realize we have a choice – to simply turn the other cheek.

It may not be very satisfying in the heat of the moment. But in the heat of the moment lives can be changed forever. Destinies can be warped. The world can shift on its axis a few subtle inches with irredeemable consequences. It’s sometimes called the butterfly effect.

We have a responsibility at that moment – to ourselves, to those we love, to those we share this fragile existence with – to turn the other cheek and shift the world a few inches on its axis in the other direction. The good we do at that moment will come back to us a hundred fold.

And so my Christmas wish is that we embrace those wise words: Peace on earth. Good will toward men. For it is not just a sentiment for Christmas. It is a guiding principle that we need to live every day. The consequences of choosing otherwise are simply too far-reaching to ignore.

Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel”. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Follow Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm regularly at this site. Categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor. Originating at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mac design software Dec 26, 2012 at 1:53 am

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  • 2 King Dec 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

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  • 3 Michael Dyet Dec 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks so much! I appreciate your support.

  • 4 Michael Dyet Dec 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I think that the generations who grew up without the net are still more comfortable with the print media. Newspapers may fade away in the next few decades.