It’s true, Chickens…full disclosure. I feel like we’re at a point in our relationship where we can have these ‘come-to-Jesus’ talks…
So I can tell you that I fought the law when I was in college (probably not all that uncommon) but in my case a little anticlimactic. I wish it was a “Hangover” caliber incident …instead, I was stone-sober…and that’s kind of the crux of it really.
My senior year of college I was tired of the party scene…longing for something a little more substantive…going out for a bite to eat at about the same time the party crowd was rolling out…car after car of raucous, drunken revelers and guess which car gets pulled over?
At that particular moment, the universal scale of justice (in my mind) finally tipped…like Trump on twitter, I let go and couldn’t stop…I “passionately” laid out every frustration and growing pain on these coppers. At first, they seemed amused…but soon enough, I made it personal…I may even have pushed one of them (gasp)…because, in my mind, they stopped me not to serve and protect, but to amplify my feelings of inequity and powerlessness.
In the back of the cruiser, on the way to the local station, I remember listening to radio chatter, the squeak of black leather seats and clinging to the “cage” in melodramatic fashion. When we got to the station…my original car companion in toe, shaking his head…things had mellowed a bit…but they took a mug shot, they did…saying to my companion, “You’ve got your hands full,” as we headed out into the night. Hmpf?!?!
I think of this moment sometimes as I sit with students, Chickens, listening to stories of “life happening” (we like to say in higher ed. circles)…and life happening makes me think of learning…because I do believe that learning happens best when we pay attention to our lives happening.
So what did I learn, you ask, when I fought the law and the law won? A couple of things…
- Life is not fair. This was my father’s mantra my whole life long
…but we can’t confuse receiving information with learning…and no matter of philosophizing, politicizing, raging or toiling will make it so.
- Fair is not equal. (More education jargon…) Coming to terms with one’s self, one’s circumstances, the way one’s particular life has happened is difficult but essential to letting go of excuses, resentments, and blame.
- Anyone can be angry–that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way–that is not easy. -Aristotle
Number #3 is still a work in progress.