Friday, April 18, 2008

The Rules of the Game p.1

The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

In its most basic meaning, it means to treat others the way you prefer them to treat you, regardless of how they actually DO treat you.

Ya3ne: They treat you good or bad, doesn't matter, you treat them good.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10 verses 25-37.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn in Jericho and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Unconditional mercy. Not preceded by reciprocation. People who do this infront of us command our admiration and awe. We can't help it. It feels alien to us to be like so generous. To follow the Golden Rule feels like going against my very nature. More like ascendance from clay to light. From base humanity to angelic nobility.

It gets even harder when the act of goodness is preceded by offense.

In the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

WARNING: The following story is very disturbing. Don't read if you don't want to feel very bad.

This is Zawadi Mongane from east Congo. I heard of her on the BBC, here's her story.

She and 50 of her village were abducted by the Interhamwe "Those who fight together". They were the same people who were the tools in Rwanda's massacres.

They took them to a rebel camp, asked all related to the village chief to stand up, then hacked them to death with knives and machetes.

Her brother was forced to rape her, and when he refused, they decapitated him infront of her.

Then 19 of them raped her.

Then they killed 2 of her children infront of her, one of them only a baby on her back. They put a noose of rope around the baby's neck and forced Zawadi to pull and strangle her own baby to death. Here I just got so disturbed by the story I teared up.

That all happened more than a year ago. Not very long. The reporter returned to her a year later to see how she was doing and although physically she had slightly recovered, but mentally she says she "Has nothing to live or look forward to in the future".

She says she still has nightmares of her pulling the rope around her baby's neck. When asked why she pulled the rope, she said that her 3rd child, her only currently surviving family, would need her help to survive. And that she realized at that moment that they'd kill her baby anyway. So she tried to stay alive so she could have a chance to go back to her living daughter to take care of her.

When asked if she wished these men to be punished or killed, she replied:
"No I don't. I still feel that I don't want those people to be killed. I know that God will judge them."

She says "still feel.." because she was asked the same question while in hospitalization shortly after her incident 1 year ago, and she replied the same way.

Now I don't know whether she's truly of such a noble spirit, or if she's simply too traumatized and afraid of her offenders to even express her "wish" for revenge aloud.

If its the 2nd possibility, then I don't blame her one bit. I've had long and elaborate fantasies of going into these Congo jungles, wearing black ninja robes, tracking down and killing these men one by one. I feel tremendous and powerful need for vengeance against them. So you can try to imagine how SHE must feel. They do not make the world a better place, they make it a worse place, hence they should be removed.

But if it is really the 1st possibility, and that she truly can forgive them, then she's a rare saint on this earth. I would wish to only meet her and try to be like her.


Anonymous said...

I would like to join you on the ninja Escapade!

I am serious after watching hotel Rwanda! Ignorant idiots. How can they do this!

So yeah ... when and where?

falantan said...

hmm.. interesting.

you called them "ignorant idiots"!

do you think that being stupid inherently makes you more evil?

in other words, is it that the smarter and more knowledgeable you are, the more civilized and good you'll be?

I'm not criticizing your comment at all. I just think this question is extremely interesting.

eshda3wa said...

my god my god my god!

its scary how people can be stripped from any human traits and just become demons!

falantan said...

eshda3wa: I agree, the sheer excess of what these people did is difficult to explain if we cling to the belief that humans are good in essence.

you can search for motive for a long time and can't find one.

killing the chief and his relatives I can maybe excuse as the old kings of the past kill the head of authority to gain rule. just like our good ol' Mbarak did to his brothers. ofcourse none of these are valid excuses, but you can call them motives atleast.

the rape, you can say they were all desperate single men in the jungle without any settled relationships, as distasteful that is, atleast its a motive.

but why kill children?

on top of that, why ask her to do it to her own baby??

I mean. they ARE humans. they were not demons. I think you can only get to this state when you're completely stripped of Godly traits like mercy and compassion. I can see it in small children how they are instinctively selfish, I had to "teach" mine to share their candy. and they only do it enthusiastically when they learn that they'll get something in return, like my approval, or later, Allah's favor.

Wella if we're left to our own earthly means of discovering morality.. we become like the "Interhamwe" :P

they are living proof that we as humans are incapable of being "good" on our own I think. as skinny bumblebee said, they're "ignorant". I think better than a ninja costume would be someone to go teach them about Allah and iljanna w ennar.

M. J. Kout said...

Happy Birthday to youuuu

falantan said...

thanks kout for reminding me of how much of an old geezer I am =)

and happy birthday to you too just a few days ago ^^