Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sacred Trust

I saw the sister of my former neighbors the other day. My former neighbors moved to the Ozarks after he retired. They were not original to our suburbhood, but were the second owners of the house. The reason why I bring them up is that I am stuck for bloggy ideas. I decided in my mind's eye to put myself on the front porch of their house, and ask myself, "What would we be talking about today?"

Well, we would talk about the frigging snow, for sure, and any hideous driving stories and the shoveling and the fact that there is more frigging snow to come. He would sip his beer, she would sip her Martini and I would sip my Pepsi.

I know we would talk about this story, for sure. Snowbound Drivers Robbed at Gunpoint. Sheesh. These three dirt balls--two adults and a 15 year old--were pretending to be good Samaritans then they would show a gun and take belongings from the people they "help". Ironically, they got stuck after one of their robberies in the snow in the 9300 block of Hillcrest. That is where the police found them and arrested their sorry, sorry butts. In the vehicle they were driving was the gun holster, stolen IDs and credit cards to name a few items.

It is kind of a funny news story. I spent some time in my mind trying to create the proper punishment--getting their heads stuffed in several sloppy wet cold snowbanks has a great deal of appeal--but then I became a little bit sad. Are we coming to a place where our default position out in public is going to have to be one of distrust in order to protect ourselves and our possessions? Where everyone approaching is viewed as a "stranger in the yard"? Where we evaluate whether or not we are going to help someone on whether or not they present a possible danger to us?

This story just struck me as very sad, like the breaking of a sacred trust, the idea of we all are in this together so we do not take advantage of each other or step on each other to reach what we want.

There was a spate of dystopian movies and books recently. What struck me as the most "dys" about them was not the struggle from environmental devastation or limited resources but the lost of some of the convents and conventions of civil organization. This of course is not new--the "Mad Max" movies brought this out as long ago as 1979--but seems to hit new distressing levels in movies like "The Road" (Personally, I couldn't see that movie--the pictures presented in my mind's eye by the novel were enough.)

This sort of thing can give me some anxiety. It scares me that the potential for this sort of thing is lurking in my community. Sometimes, I must pray that I not be discouraged or give up hope. That I must keep my faith.

4 comments:

Bob said...

The story snow bound roberies is a sad tale of today's society. I wish we all had more front porches to talk to friends on and less folks taking advantage of one another in bad weather. I hope that if the police got the right poeple they can make the case stick and they will be in jail for along time and not right back out and doing the same or worst to the next poor soul they come across. I like to think of you blog as that old front poor we all used to gather and talk on. Thanks for the post.

Bob G. said...

T.O.:
I read the story about the robberies...pathetic (and to "blame" it on the juvey...wrong).

But your point about dystopian "values" rings clear these days.

There are still MANY of us that Do "toss the coat over the puddle" for others, but with such acts of kindness, we are seeing a new type of predator on our streets.
Those who lie in wait FOR people like ourselves who will help those IN NEED.

And yes, we ALL need to be a lot more aware when we do decide to help another person, sad to say.

It can happen in any community, for these thugs no have moral compass guiding their actions.

Fortunately, WE still do, and although we might be a tad more wary of assisting, we will keep endeavoring to do so, because it's the RIGHT thing to do.

Good post and commentary.

Stay safe out there.

the observer said...

Bob the first:
Lots of finger pointing by the miscreants at the 15 year old designed no doubt to get the older ones out of bad trouble. The whole lot, who have been positively ID'ed by at least one victim, need some confinement for punishment and maybe a little attitude adjustment. One hopes the youngest is not beyond hope.

As much fun as the internet is, there is nothing healthier than fellowship on the porch or around the kitchen table IMHO. I personally try to lead a balanced life between the two: I treasure my virtual friends and my in-front-of-me friends equally and both groups add to the connectedness and community in my life.

Thanks for joining that community, even for just a short while!

The Observer

the observer said...

Bob G:
I keep thinking of Jesus' instructions to the disciples as recorded in Matthew 10:16: Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (NASB)

So many times when dealing with people who are asking for something, these words come quickly to mind. As Christian believers trying to "act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8 NIV), we do well to keep these wise instructions of our Lord before us.

When we act in this way not only do we witness to the work of God in our own lives, but we show a model of a different way to live to others.

Thanks for commenting and stay warm and shiny side up!

T.O.