Since when did it become the hunted’s job to talk sense into the hunter? And when has that ever worked? When have we ever observed a gazelle trying to counsel the lion out of his instinct to hunt and feast as it rested in the clutches of the beast’s teeth? Is that footage hiding somewhere in the archives at PBS or National Geographic?
Help me understand why, still — after this eons-long war between the haves and have nots began — the targets of oppression seek to make the assailants change their ways.
That’s not how any of this works.
Who the hell pauses, kneels in the middle of a battlefield, and begs an invading army to
“Forget about this war! Please, abandon your privilege, your bloodthirst for power, and the sense of preeminence which gives you your very identity, in favor of a world where we all love and share with one another. Don’t kill us!”
The destitute. That’s who.
Be about the business for your own well-being, your advancement, and that of your loved ones. Of course, defend your life and your honor — this is your birthright as a human being. Or, slip your shackles and leap from this blazing ship into the sea, if you have to. But trying to sway the assailant’s mind as he sets deck after deck alight is a waste of precious energy and time.
You cannot appeal to the morality of one who does not share your morals. You will not mine empathy from the prehistoric rock that is his brain. The scriptures and holy values you throw his way to convict his soul will only ricochet off that calloused shell and knock you upside the head.
Such indoctrinations were given to YOU, branded upon YOUR flesh, molded into the crevices of YOUR heart and mind, woven into YOUR offspring’s DNA, to assure your plentiful presence on the lower rungs of the food chain.
Morality isn’t the predator’s burden to carry.
And in the same way, you cannot be laden with any responsibility for his psychosis.
As protests rage on, as lands heave along the fault lines of antiquated and diabolical ideologies, (as is the way of life on earth throughout the ages) I am firm in my understanding of this:
The onus is not on me to fix anything but myself. I don’t want to spin my wheels, playing social justice whack-a-mole, chasing mirages of prosperity and clout, running around like a caped crusader supposedly “fighting” oppression, yet groveling and begging at every turn for acknowledgement, assistance, sympathy, honors and awards, proper compensation, food, clean water, clothing, shelter, electricity, jobs, better jobs, management jobs, housing, better housing, the best housing at a good price, education, safety, equality, respect, or humane treatment from the very assailant who’s teeth are dripping with the blood of my peers.
We can’t go to rehab on behalf of this addict. He has to want sobriety for himself. If he doesn’t, he will only reinvent the hunt, time and again, by way of yet another loophole, as he has indeed done for centuries.
Injustice is The Unjust One’s problem to fix. His lunacy is the result of the parasites that plague his mind. I cannot take his medicine for him.
I cannot spend precious time spoon-feeding history, biology, and world affairs lessons to those who are otherwise savvy and brilliantly informed but somehow manage to be brazenly ignorant of the Move Bombing, past and current slave trades, rape culture, the gender and sexuality paradigms as nature actually presents them, the Tulsa Massacre, poverty pimping, or any number of blatant issues that have affected the targeted.
It is not my job to fix the insanity of racism, to correct the short-sighted foolishness of misogyny, to convince someone that homosexuality and pedophilia are not one and the same, or to elucidate that disagreement alone does not equal fear or hatred.
I cannot educate a person’s mind into one that is not awash with prejudgments, and uninformed, perverted assumptions about someone else. I especially do not have the presence of mind to do this as I bob and weave my way around his bullets. What we focus on expands, and I’m interested, only, in expanding a sense of well-being for those who seek true wellness.
When the world’s targets are no longer bound to this imagined moral imperative to extend compassion, patience, and knowledge to their assailants, their efforts to advance will get a much-needed boost from the deluge of redirected focus and resolve. When the predators can no longer get fat on the prey’s undivided attention, they will have nothing but their own long-expired sense of superiority to consume. When the hunted are no longer enslaved to an insatiable covetousness to enjoy the privileges of the hunter and no longer beholden to a worldview that hails the hunter’s way as best, they might escape predation and reach their own prizewinning zenith.
I have no additional energy available to relegate to the hope that the world’s assailants will finally pull themselves up by their own intellectual bootstraps and become true human beings.
I can only correct my own shortcomings, limiting beliefs, and biases. I only have the energy and wherewithal to lay my own course, to hunt my own prey, and to help feed those around me who are still within range of reason. That is a task that I fully accept, and it is engrossing enough.