arnheimsdomain: (dragons)
[personal profile] arnheimsdomain
If I saw someone on the street trying to saw their own foot off, I would try to stop them. When I see some fit young person smoking in the street now, I want to punch them in the face. I fantasize about getting cards printed up with the name of my favourite oncologists to hand them out to the schoolkids who gather to smoke at the end of my street. I want to plunge their heads in buckets of water until they swear to give up.

I suspect the Smoke Free helpline may be a more productive approach ;-)


I am learning to embrace my anger. Is it really more enlightened to turn away and try to hold your breath?

I am offended by the existence of cancer and I am offended by what these self destructive strangers might be doing to themselves. You can tell me that they have the right, but I no longer believe it. And I'd like to see you try to argue that smoking is a victimless crime. I believe my anger is righteous.

It is, however, accompanied by less righteous anger, at the moment focused on strangers who are randomly rude to you on the street, on the train.

It is easy to expect them to act like civilised humans, to forget that they are just semi-feral animals snarling dumbly at some, sniffing the butts of others, thinking of their own stuff, be it their next meatburger, their next break-in or their next PowerPoint presentation. I teach kids all the time who treat those around them, including their parents, like shit. I cure (most of) them by training them like dogs.

And that involves a lot more kindness and respect than you might expect: you don't train a dog with anger.

Still, I can commune with Houseman in this thought:

In my own shire, if I was sad,
Homely comforters I had:
The earth, because my heart was sore,
Sorrowed for the son she bore;
And standing hills, long to remain,
Shared their short-lived comrade's pain.
And bound for the same bourn as I,
On every road I wandered by,
Trod beside me, close and dear,
The beautiful and death-struck year:
Whether in the woodland brown
I heard the beechnut rustle down,
And saw the purple crocus pale
Flower about the autumn dale;
Or littering far the fields of May
Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay,
And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood.

Yonder, lightening other loads,
The seasons range the country roads,
But here in London streets I ken
No such helpmates, only men;
And these are not in plight to bear,
If they would, another's care.
They have enough as 'tis: I see
In many an eye that measures me
The mortal sickness of a mind
Too unhappy to be kind.
Undone with misery, all they can
Is to hate their fellow man;
And till they drop they needs must still
Look at you and wish you ill.

A Shropshire Lad, XLI

One is angry with the wounded animal that bites, but you resist the temptation to punch its lights out ;-)
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