Stalking the Average Man
-The right to privacy, for instance, | I said, offhandedly.
-They didn‘t legislate courtesy, if that‘s what you‘re thinking. |
-I‘m thinking that a system with no starting assumption would need virtually unlimited
investigative authority, and that most people would have a problem with cops breaking down doors
to find evidence, just because they felt like it. |
-Their system‘s starting point was teaching children how to assume responsibility for all of
their actions; it followed that refusing to cooperate was socially irresponsible and tantamount to
declaring you had something to hide. | Bonnie pitched forward into my favorite view.
-My people‘s knowledge about the underlying nature of events translated directly into social
responsibility, which precluded interfering with the authorities whose job it was to safeguard
society. It wouldn‘t have crossed their minds to feel inconvenienced, let alone invaded. | She leaned
back, grinned sardonically, and said, -Unless they were guilty. | She twitched a shrug. -Privacy is
an issue to us only because we‘d rather maintain an image of a free society than fulfill the
responsibilities that would actually safeguard our freedoms. | She reached for her drink. -The same
reasoning applies to your wars. |
-In what way? |
-A peaceful society would fulfill the responsibilities of maintaining peace, not endlessly fund
the means for war. |
-Responsibilities of peace being what? |
-Now you‘re playing with me. |
-I know what they‘d be if I had my own country. |
-In this moment, assume that you do. |
-Okay, health, education, a level playing field in opportunity, free beer, and a small army to
protect the brewery. |
-We‘re almost on the same page, | she said, apparently enjoying something other than my
-What would your people do about aggressors? | I said, evenly.
-I didn‘t say my people wouldn‘t fight if they had to, but they‘d first have the aggressors look
at peaceful options. |
This final gaping hole silenced me.
Bonnie took a short sip. Gently clearing her throat, she said, -Tell me about the circumstances
you needed to know for your safety, and I‘ll tell you what my people would say to these same
circumstances. The point, | she continued, heading off my question, -is to extend your
understanding of how my people look at things energetically. Good job, by the way. Not many
people get this far without feeling that I‘m intentionally trying to annoy them. | She chuckled.
-Circumstances, as in what I needed to know about a specific conflict or what I‘d do in a
given situation? | I managed to say as if I weren‘t frustrated or annoyed.
-A conflict… use Lebanon. |
-There‘s a lot of it. |
-As you said, we have all night. | Bonnie settled back in her chair.
Cautioning her that I was offering information in the context of my daily activities, not
historical accuracy, I told her what I had learned in my first few days in Lebanon...