I have come to realize in my 50 years on this planet, that human nature needs a scapegoat. Human nature needs to see people fail. Human nature needs to see someone down on their luck. Human nature needs the sanctimonious to point the finger. One line that proves my point with sheer perfection, is from the movie Scarface, with one of my favorite actors, Al Pacino.
“What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of fuckin’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There’s a bad guy comin’ through! Better get outta his way!” -Tony Montana
So why do people want to react in this way? Superiority, inferiority, righteous indignation. It usually begins as a feeling that there is an injustice that one must right. There is a feeling they have been wronged and the world needs a crusader to set the record straight and it begins to take on a life of it’s own until it becomes a twisted perception of another’s reality.
Take for instance the uprising against President Trump. Democrats who failed to see Hillary Clinton elected, have banded together in an attempt to impeach our president, because they feel justified, celebrities like Madonna threatening to blow up the White House, and Kathy Griffin holding up the bloody head of our president to show her disdain for a man that was elected in to office, by the masses. Seemingly intelligent, somewhat normal, individuals acting immoral in the sake of righting perceived wrongs, yet on their moral high ground, they border on the absurd, and cross the line legally. But righteous indignation will almost always cause a seemingly sane person to do unseemingly insane things, to react in a way that they may not otherwise react, all in the name of fairness, rightness and justification. It only takes one seemingly innocuous event, to cause a person to rise up and proclaim their dismay and dissatisfaction to create a battle. And let’s face it, if you are hell bent on finding something to be indignant about, you’ll sure as fuck find it. You’ll scrutinize and strategize until you find the one thing that feeds into the madness if that’s what you’re thinking and feeling. It’s a projection of mirrored insecurities and untruths.
Take the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, the crux of which was fueled by a perceived deviation of Puritan beliefs and a feud between religious figure heads, which sparked one of the most notorious cases of mass hysteria, causing the death of 20 people being publicly hung, who were falsely accused of being witches. There was no proof to support this was the case but mass hysteria led the community to convict innocent people, mostly women, and once it took shape, these people were doomed and their fate sealed.
Seeking absolution was of little consequence, they were innocent and in 2001, their names were listed and cleared of any wrong doing. But it took centuries to prove their innocence and they sadly paid the ultimate price.
I have come to realize that sometimes people get it wrong, sometimes they vehemently cling to the notion of rightness without ever really understanding why. There is a clear distinction in dissention and a feeling of moral superiority, that lulls us into a sense of righteous indignation that blurs the lines until it becomes more about being right then a way of resolving what’s wrong.
There will always be someone who on their moral high ground, feels that they know what is in your heart and what the “true intent” was in what you did, said, or should have done. For them, you can plead your case until you are blue in the face and nothing will ever serve as justice. It will always be that jagged little pill stuck in their throats, with all of the grand illusions and speculations.
I believe that there is a time for seeking absolution, but I don’t believe it comes at the hands of another, I believe it comes at a time when you have soiled your soul and are living devoid of good intention and can no longer face the sins of your soul. It is in those moments that absolution can be found in times of quiet contemplation with your God, or in your meditation. For me, I have aligned myself with purpose and a mission to live a life that is authentic, loving and of good intention. I am mindful of what I am bringing to my world and want to be the steward of peace and love in all of my interactions. I also am not naïve or delusional and understand that sometimes there will be times when you get it wrong, or you fail to be a little bit better than you know you could have or should have been, but I feel that if you make amends and put forth pure intentions of your soul, there isn’t a need for absolution. For there will be recognition in the fact that we are all human and in the immortal words of Maya Angelou, we are all doing the best we can at any moment, “When we knew better, we did better. And that knowing is indeed the only absolution we should ever cling to!