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Looking at the rain and smelling the scent of wet soil here. will probably be hanged tomorrow. Idle question comes up in my mind. What would I do if I were him?

Too big a question. I know nothing about being him, his circumstances, motivations. What would I do if I were stood before a court and could be sentenced to anything from freedom to ? If my life and death rested on our judicial system, with angry people wanting me punished for some I did? What if Twitter were a courtroom?

Is that even possible?

Well, this is hypothetical, but it isn't entirely impossible for anyone. I speak my mind. I live as I talk. No compromises other than those of lost freedom taking care of dependents. I influence people. I already have plenty of people thinking I should be punished for my views - which criticism ranges from too wimpish to anti-national for even thinking of humanity for bad people. Is it impossible I say something or endorse the right of some "enemy of the state" like activists or people who want self-determination for their land if that is what I believe? Not outside the realm of possibility. Sedition is punishable by death and demanding extreme punishment is fashion. Unlikely, but not impossible - for the purposes of this contemplation.

So say, one day cops came to arrest me. Cut forward to where I stood in front of a judge who would decide how I should be punished. What would I do?

It is impossible to say how one clings to life in a real situation, but to my mind, I would not cling. I am a mother, blogger. A is no place to bring up a disabled child, and I doubt they'd give me the internet. My family would be better off without being dragged into the mess and my child would be better off without me spending his inheritance on a futile case.

I would most certainly encourage anyone who cared about me to spend their efforts on the kid instead of wasting their time and reputations banging their heads on a wall, and that what was worthy of remembering or loving about me is unlikely to be a battle I give up without even trying.

At the moment, I don't think I'd appeal any sentence against me unless it impacted more lives than mine. I have no interest in life unless I'm happy or fulfilling a responsibility I have to my child and I honestly don't think I could be happy in a prison or that a child who doesn't so much as know yelling, would be. True, I cannot imagine being without that cute appendage even in prison. Thus, I don't see the point in resisting the death penalty to get a life penalty.

What if the sentence were smaller? I'd serve it, try to get out how I could. Bail, shortened term for good behavior, whatever. Anything short of selling out my ethics in a way that harms others. I'm almost 40. Anything longer than a 10 year term, I'd probably incriminate myself to get the death penalty rather than endless prison.

What would I say in my defense?

For someone normally so verbose, I imagine I'd be lost for words. I am not used to explaining myself, let alone defending myself. No, criticism of views or engagement with people without any authority over me does not count.

Only thing I'd honestly have to say in my defense, is the only thing I ever had. I did what my ethics told me was the best with the information I had available. I do not believe in this current world of "good guys" and "bad guys". I do not see the point in hatred, when it at best gains you the stress of a life of suspicion over fellow beings. I'd rather be gullible than jump at shadows and do another an injustice. I do not find a world where a majority of people are exploited so that a few guys at the top can thrive as useful to the vast majority of mankind.

I don't see even the supporters of a "winning" ideology thriving - religious/financial/national/communal.... The cannon fodder supporters will be the ones whose behavioral patterns will change till they lose any elegance or higher meaning or faculty to analyze own interest in a life of holding another's goals their priority. They will be the ones living with paranoia at enemies they have been taught about, facing contempt for over reactions that they experience as necessary to their survival, going to prison, when the ugliness breaks through into irrevocable action. They will still not be the ones who will have power in their hands. The only power they will ever have is the power to bully those their masters tell them are not worthy of respect. Power over another person is a primitive aphrodisiac. Something a deep, unthinking part of our psyche interprets as victory; and thus survival.While it feels good, it has absolutely no enriching impact on life. Neither victim - who is actively harmed, nor victor - who gets a psychological reward for real actions with their own cost.

No one can thrive unless they are able to coexist with differences. Where there are two people, there are differences. It would take a world with one person in it to be free of communal differences. And even if every minority, "sickular", or whatever contempt-worthy thing could be exterminated, there would STILL be differences. An attitude of intolerance has no end. And I believe we are as culpable for things we allow with our silence, as we are for the things we do, so being silent is not an honest option for me. And I own my views and their consequences.

Would it be any use?

I honestly don't think it is possible to say anything and be heard if the system doesn't want it said to your advantage. I also think any case that ends up in public sight, particularly on news and social , has a default tendency to be punished higher than the rest. I'd likely speak the truth or lie depending on whether I can get out early or whether I can provoke a death penalty instead of long prison term. I'd probably tell the judge this is his one moment of glory when the final judgment is in his/her hands and not some higher court on the ladder and to do himself proud - whatever his beliefs - left/right/law/etc.

And then, I'd try my best to be happy and purposeful in prison regardless. No doubt this would involve smuggling blog posts and ground reports out on paper. Or I'd start believing in god and pray for dementia.

Gallows humor apart, a part of me is distantly unsettled over how little I believe in the system doing what upholds an honor of a shared world and how pessimistic I am about engaging with the judicial system if money is a scarce resource and even views or association is stigma. As someone who does not really believe in punishment, let alone capital punishment, how extreme my preferences would be if faced with a loss of freedom. And I see the complications of my own views and the complete enslavement of public opinion toward revenge as . Eye for an eye. Family, if not the kingpin.

Another part of me wonders whether this precious freedom is outside prisons either, when so many of us merely live to survive? What is this freedom, really? Would solitary confinement be prison for me, a self declared hermit, if I had the internet, where I manifest my purpose? Does a free man really have freedom, as he toils under increasing debt or impossible work stress?

The last lines of Richard Loveface's poem come to mind.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

Is a compassionate world even possible, if we start from where we are today?

 

 

Note: This is not a comment on our judicial system so much as on our society. I have no real experience of the judicial system and may end up dying of old age without ever acquiring it.

14

I have rather radical thoughts about love, sex and . I wish to state them, because I am getting increasingly itchy about the compulsive prudery pervading everything these days, even as divorce rates soar, premarital sex thrives and acceptable public opinion continues to chase some vampire romance-like view of love as an absolute - one true soul mate, etc.

I've been married twice, had a long live in relationship that was better than the marriages, divorced once, separated twice. And I have learned from all those.

Currently, I describe myself as solosexual with detours and am happier than I've been in a long time. I no longer believe in marriage and even less in monogamy as a commitment. I have successfully ruined excellent friendships by marrying them. Some have even improved after breaking off. What have I learned?

About myself, I have learned that I am not a suitable candidate for 24/7/365 relationships. Too intense, too close. I am too idealistic, too uncompromising and too unwilling to accept the mediocrity of daily life once a relationship mellows into a comfortable habit that usually settles comfortably into the woman making compromises for a happy family life. I don't stop working at it, and I feel betrayed by my partner stopping working at it. I most certainly don't do well relating with the world as someone's belonging - even a cherished, precious one.

I am also quite asocial and even when things are going well and like ample space for me to be left alone with my thoughts. I'm not interested in anyone's socks, playing 20 mushy messages or how their day went, unless they have something to share or something seems off... or on. In turn, I like a man leading a happy and fruitful life not needing rescued from himself or his tanhai. Together for joy, not compulsive habit.

It isn't easy for the man either to be held answerable for the actions of a woman who does not even notice convention, let alone toe it. Even one who accepts my freedom feels resentment over being asked questions he feels obliged to defend over things he never felt strongly about. Why? Because I'm his woman! Apparently that means he is responsible for all I do and for running a customer care service for unsolicited opinions about bringing me in line - which he is most incapable of doing. This pretty much decimates a man's ego in today's society, so a wife like me ain't exactly happiness for the man either.

I find the best intentions eventually collapse into a resignation of "too much headache". Yet of course, I am incapable of being someone I am not. Someone tame, someone who colors within lines, someone society will approve of. Nor would I, if I could.

I have stopped believing in love as a relationship. Love, to me is moments of intense affinity that we chain together with a relationship in some desperate hope of more sense of belonging coming from the same source. To me, love is a feeling that simply is or isn't. It cannot be controlled by rules about where it should manifest and where it shouldn't. It also never goes away entirely. A memory can trigger it about someone you don't even like anymore.

I have learned that relationships die because the people in them stop making them work. In my experience of myself and others, more relationships have died from willful hurt and neglect than from someone "straying". From simply being too lazy to improve on a good thing till it goes broke and then too lazy for the phenomenal effort it would take. For those who believe in monogamy, any straying comes much after a sense of belonging is lost. For those who don't believe in it, the straying is irrelevant to the relationship anyway. Yet such a big fuss is made of loyalty to a partner, and so little about continuing to nurture a relationship. I believe in loyalty. Intense, committed loyalty, but not rights, including exclusivity over what another person is allowed to feel.

I do not wish to limit another. I do not wish to be limited by another. Love ought to be what expands us, not preventatively limits us.

Does this mean I no longer love? I do. But I don't set it in concrete. I feel it, am enriched by it, and am free of it once the moment passes without obligation. I feel no need for love to have a consequence. To turn into sex or marriage or a proposal or resentment over being unrequited. Or even be expressed. I have nothing against a relationship evolving either. Sometimes it does. But it doesn't "have to" and have to with "the right one". There are many right ones, with people who resonate and moments of meaning, and there are none that are always, tediously right.

Do I not believe in relationships? I do. But I'd like my partner to walk along. Independent, together. Our relationship is between us. I commit to nurture it, to treasure it and to fight for it when it is in trouble. But I do not commit to being owned by it. I do not commit to it overshadowing all other relationships or limiting their potential - including the potential for genuine, heartfelt intimacy. I would not want to own another either.

For someone who has never had simultaneous relationships and is absolutely disinterested in casual sex, it is surprising how strongly I have started feeling about rejecting monogamy. Would I have had? I honestly don't know. I'm quite content as a "solosexual" and currently feel no need for anyone in order to have a happy sexual life. The issue is the principle of it. Having thoroughly disliked the chains of being one half of a couple, where I have to dumb myself down and cater to expectations of what a part of a couple should be, I no longer am willing to get into all that. It is unpleasant.

And I have found there are many kinds of love, with many kinds of people. Many kinds of intimacy, that enrich, expand, grow with time, fade, metamorphize. There are many kinds of togetherness, of independence. They stretch across ages, genders, locations. There are even loving, caring relationships with men (gasp!), where both feel attracted, stated, yet there is no sexual relationship. Because there are no rules that say that "you're repressed if you don't sleep with people you love and are attracted to while you are single" either.

If there is one thing I have found common to these relationships, it is that there is a sense of grounding. Of being exactly who I am. Of being cherished, and of cherishing in turn. Of being accepted, appreciated and accepting and appreciating in turn. Of freedom, and yet being securely held. And it is all love.

 

My relationship is with the person. It is between the two of us. If it gets between me and the world, that is not acceptable to me. Because my first commitment is to myself. Self owned.