Akin to Murder

It’s a beatufiu day here in unutterably gorgeous New River, AZ. The sky is blue, the pool is blue…

bluepool….hey, wait a minute. That pool is just a little too blue!

We put the cover on the pool on Sunday. The pool was warming up during the day, but cooling right back off at night, and the temp was not making it out of the 60s Farenheit. The cover has been on for forty-eight hours, and the temperature is 80 F. I’d call that a win.

It’s April 2nd, which is early for swimming, but I’ll take it. And being April 2nd also means that yesterday was April Fool’s Day.

I’ve never been a big April Fool’s fan. I’ve never liked the idea of it, I reckon. Making other folks out to be fools doesn’t seem fun to me – because I am the biggest fool of all. I’ve never liked movies where the fun was people being embarrassed; heck, I don’t even like sitcoms where somebody being embarrassed is the major plot device.

I cringe when I watch Napoleon Dynamite, because I AM Napoleon. (I laugh later, of course).

My friend Nangel popped off this quote from the Talmud, regarding embarrassing other people, and it really hit home:

“One should be extremely careful to never shame another in public. This sin is akin to murder; just as blood is spilled in the act of murder, so too when one is shamed the blood drains from his face. One who publicly embarrasses his fellow loses his share in the World to Come.”

Now, I do not agree with the sentiment as expressed; I happen to believe that what is being injured when one is publicly shamed is not the person himself, but his ego – and anything that’s bad for my ego is good for me. (Often I would argue with this statement; when that happens, it means that I am, at that time, identifying with my ego, rather than seeing it as the cancerous soul-sickness that it is).

But I am aware that not everybody shares this view, and it’s not my job to decide how somebody else should grow spiritually. So the best way that I know to express my relationship with the above quote is to say that “It applies to me as the perpetrator, but not as the victim”.

My main problem, then, is this – I often commit this sin against others unconsciously, because I am not as easily embarrassed or shamed; things that I often disclose myself with ease or humor are mortifying to others. I’d like to think that this is because I am more “humble” but I suspect that the truth is more along the lines of this: I’ve had such a checkered past, and such a record of failure at everything, that it’s hard to get the best of me…heck, I’m usually the one to expose such things about myself quickly, because I am so scared of living with secrets.

But ignorance of the law is no excuse; the fact that I’m not aware that the gun is loaded doesn’t stop the other guy from bleeding – or keep the blood from draining from his face.

    • I’ve noticed a definite theme to your comments lately, YipYap : )

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