Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On Loving Our Enemies

In the last two weeks, I've been reading a lot of literature that argues we should love our enemies. I almost gagged at the idea. It's nice on the surface, but when I thought about people like our money laundering piggy, Manny Carrillo; the incompetent and lying Finance Director Craig Graves; and the hateful and manipulative Chief Michael Taylor, I wondered how could I love these people. They've done nothing but absolutely spiteful, mean and wicked things in our community. Stop to really think about loving your enemies. Think about who you hate (or dislike) the most in your life. Do you want to love them? I didn't think so.

But everywhere I look, I see violence and conflict and corruption. And maybe I'm part of it because, I've called all these people nasty names. I also think they rightfully deserve it. I mean - they only falsely arrested, falsely jailed, and falsely filed a temporary restraining order against me. When you weigh up how much damage they were calculating on inflicting upon me, such as losing my license to practice law and to paint me as a crazy, you can begin to understand why the whole saga was so violating for me. This is the price I paid for telling the truth. The price Julian Casas, the former boxing coach paid, was that they fired him from a job he had for 14 years. He loved that job.

I got even though, in a good way. I sued the Mayor personally for his frivolous temporary restraining order. I also shamed ridiculed the City Attorney, who had to admit complete defeat by a first year attorney.

But, all of this, made me think long and hard if I was doing the right thing or just perpetuating a cycle that needed to be broken. I don't make any apologies for what I wrote and how I called the City Attorney an Ape, when he misrepresented my signature to the court. Why? Because - that's truly how violated and offended I felt. A lot of what I experienced, at the hands of the City Officials and Administrators of Baldwin Park, had left me outraged because their misconduct was outrageous, cruel, and incredible.

Yet, I had to remind myself this week that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. I had to remind myself that maybe even my enemies can change, and I think the God I believe in gives them every chance to be a new person. I mean he just doesn't smite them, does he? And he surely, doesn't just smite us on a whim either. All of this brought me to the realization that all of us:  you, me, and them, are only one step away from making the right decision we need to in our lives.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm in an internal struggle in how to recognize how to treat these public officials and administrators, who are my abusers, with the dignity and respect that all humans deserve, while maintaining my need to see justice come through. Furthermore, how do I continue on this journey, without becoming like them?

I don't have an answer to these questions or thoughts. In fact, I think I ask more questions by trying to answer the underlying ones. Is suing someone a peaceful way to accomplish reaching a compromise? What if the other party refuses to obey the law? What if the other party is abusive and refuses to be held to answer to a higher authority? Again, I don't have the answers to these questions, but I'm giving them considerable thought and attention.

It's a question all of us should give some time to, if we're having a conflict with an enemy. How do you resolve the conflict while respecting that person's humanity? Like I said, I'm not really that sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment