Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Lent

The prisoners in the jails of my country are not hung upside down and tortured; our poor do not die of cholera or plague. But my relation to most of the people in the world just cannot be described as exactly the one which morality would demand. And this is why I realize that as long as I preserve my loyalty to my childhood training I will never know what it is to be truly comfortable, and this is why I feel a fantastic need to tear that training out of my heart once and for all so that I can finally begin to enjoy the life that is spread out before me like a feast. And every time a friend makes that happy choice and sets himself or herself free, I find that I inwardly exult and rejoice, because it means there will be one less person to disapprove of me if I choose to do the same.

As I write these words, in New York City in 1985, more and more people who grew up around me are making this decision; they are throwing away their moral chains and learning to enjoy their true situation: Yes, they are admitting loudly and breavely, we live in beautiful homes, we’re surrounded by beautiful gardens, our children are playing with wonderful toys, and our kitchen shelves are filled with wonderful food. And if there are people out there who don’t seem to like us and who would like to break into our homes and take what we have, well then, part of our good fortune is that we can afford to pay guards to man our gates andkeep those people away.

And if those who protect us need to hit people in the face with the butts of their rifles, or if they need perhaps even to turn around and shoot, they have our permission….

The perfectly decent person who follows a certain chain of reasoning, ever so slightly and subtly incorrect, becomes a perfect monster at the end of the chain.

Wallace Shawn

It’s “Spy Wednesday.” Which disciple am I?

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