Thursday, June 07, 2007

Freedom and responsibility

TB should stand for 'too bad' for this guy. He sounds like a child caught in the act, defending himself: "But you didn't say I couldn't go to my friend's house." Even as I hear myself saying "the guy should be a lawyer", actually, he shouldn't. I wouldn't want to hire someone who tries to squirm his way out of responsibility. (DOH! He is a lawyer. Quelle surprise!)

Tuberculosis (one of my spelling words that I aced in 5th grade) is a serious disease. I don't care if he wasn't considered contagious. You don't go off on your honeymoon with TB! How romantic is that! The words in sickness and in health do not mean infecting your beloved right after the wedding. Just because no one told him to stay home doesn't mean that he is not responsible for his actions. There is a "lump three feet above [our asses]" (name the movie, Andy) that we're supposed to use to make decisions, as in, "I have TB, a deadly disease. I have a new wife. Should I make her happy or should I make her sick? Hmm."

In a related story, as I was traveling home from Mexico, I spoke with a seatmate who was well-travelled. He spoke of being in Spain once, on a occasion when a friend of his was drunk and unable to walk home. A local constable took notice of his inebriated state, ascertained where he lived, walked him to his door, unlocked it for him, helped him inside, then locked him in his apartment to sleep it off. My seatmate thought this was a bit too much and was thankful that he lived in a free country.

Yes, we are free to get drunk, get into our cars, and drive, possibly hit someone, kill them, and then face the music for our behavior. Frankly, I like the proactive, compassionate approach given above.

I am very weary of the increasingly American behavior of lifting up virtues, such as freedom, autonomy, faith, life, waving them around like a flag, absent of their corresponding sister virtues: responsibility, covenant, reason, and love. Some guy in an old book said it much more eloquently than I, that if we have not love, we have nothing. If we do not have reason, we have fanaticism. If we do not have covenant, we have everyone for themselves. If we do not have responsibility, well, just take a look at how we live versus most of the earth's inhabitants. We call this freedom and are very proud of it, thank you very much. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is watching us, breathing threats and murder, and we cry foul.

Enough, I say! Enough!


Andy said...

"A League of their Own", baby! Quite possibly Tom Hanks funniest role ever.

"Avoid the clapp, Jimmy Dugan"

Cynthia said...

That's all you have to say?!


"There's no crying in baseball!"

Heather said...

I always liked the quote from Spiderman: "With great freedom comes great responsiblity."

Cynthia said...

Yes, Heather! Why couldn't Spidey be our nation's superhero, instead of Superman, who stood for "truth, justice, and the American way" (an oxymoronic statement)?

pj said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I barely paid attention to TB Boy. I think I'm all feared-out. Seriously, I live about 20 miles from Kennedy Airport, and I heard about the terrorist plot against it and yawned. So I'm either very sensible or very foolish -- not sure which. (You are correct about behaving responsibly, of course.)

Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way! You cracked me up.

Cynthia said...

PJ, thank you for stopping by my blog too.

I know what you mean by all feared-out. We hear so much news that we can either be paralyzed by it, anxiety coming out of our pores or we get desensitized to it. It's a fine line to care and to be compassionate without being sucked in all the time.

And TB Boy...poster boy for "stupid is as stupid does".

Share Cropper said...

Cynthia, this is off topic, but I have tagged you for a meme, supposedly originated by Padre Mickey. Check my blog for the details. Good luck

Cynthia said...

Wow, I've been tagged!

I'm sucha geek...

Dennis said...

everybody expects that some horrible disease will be spread around the world by a poor coughing third world refugee.

And then a rich, privileged corporate white boy goes and shows all of us wrong.

how unsurprising.