Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Confluence Of Circumstances

The other day while riding my old scooter home from the west side of the state I reflected while going through a curve that a set of events coming together at the proper time would be the end of me, despite my best efforts. It is a bit easier to see this when you are essentially naked at 65 miles per hour and flesh mangling objects are hurtling past at not much more than arm's length. This fact applies to much more than motorcycling.

All through our lives circumstances come together and create a reality that is counter to our plans, for good or ill. We have plans and we have ideas and yet a confluence of circumstances will drive our lives. Many of the cultural wars erupt from denial of this piece of life reality. Whatever ideas you may have about your children, abortion, gayness, ad infinitum are not it, and yet abortion and gayness and all the rest arrive into people's lives daily. Almost everyone knows intellectually that things happen, unforeseen and unplanned. But that happens to other people, not me.

Horseshit. Certainly men don't get pregnant, but someone in their life may and then the crapshoot starts. However that pregnancy occurred in planning, its happening alone is took quite a few factors coming together in rare confluence. Fortunately for the earth and humankind, conception isn't a foregone conclusion and from there it stays an iffy proposition, both physically and within the life situation of the mother and father. Pretending that one-size-fits-all is ludicrous and yet that is the debate.

People wind up gay. It happens and we all know it does because they exist. It isn't a part of anyone's plans to become a member of a despised minority. The fact that a majority of Americans don't despise them is small consolation in the face of the ones who do. Plans and ideas have nothing to do with it, a confluence of circumstances happened to someone and that's their life. We who were missed by it can't really understand but we don't have to in order to avoid actively making their lives miserable. It doesn't take an advanced degree in psychology to figure out that there are ways to avoid harming others, whether we understand them or not.

Pure stupid chance gave you a miss on having to deal with some issues and having to deal with others. It flatly doesn't matter if you were hit or missed by some confluence of circumstances, giving respect to those who were isn't a matter of having to experience their life. You don't get to be me and you don't have to live in my skin to be able to give me space to exist in relative happiness. It isn't about gods or books, or your personal experience in these areas, it is a matter of recognizing that life isn't predictable and has to be dealt with on its terms.

John Cole over at Balloon Juice pretty much nailed it with this line:
What this country really needs right now is a serious case of mind your own damned business. We’ve turned into a nation of busybodies and scolds, and people just need to back off.

MYOB isn't all that hard and takes a heck of a lot less energy than making it your business to make someones life more difficult. If these kinds of things aren't for you, don't do them. The fact that John Doe is gay or Jane Smith needs an abortion is about them, not you. Gay marriage and the termination of pregnancy and a whole lot of things involve no one but those participating in or dealing with it. Rather than screw with people's lives who have no effect on yours, sit down and shut the hell up while you reflect on the narrow miss a confluence of circumstances gave you.


ShortWoman said...

Chuck, exactly the line I was planning on quoting a little later. We could all use some MYOB. But it's a little hard for those who thought they were sitting down to a church service the other day and ended up in a murder scene.

Heh, amusing word verification: "gunbable".

asiangrrlMN said...

Damn right, Chuck. At the end of the day, it really does boil down to MYOB. I am tired of having to repeat that over and over and over again. I'm glad John stated it so eloquently on his widely-read blog. It needs to be a mantra.