Transitional Periods: aka So I don't want to kill you, I want to help you

zara's picture

OK, stop me if you've heard this one before...

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee." - Jules, PULP FICTION

Sure, most of you would have stopped me about 6 words in. Which is my point here. I want to talk about righteousness. How about some definitions for righteous?

1) characterized by uprightness or morality
2) morally right or justifiable
3) acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous
4) Slang: absolutely genuine or wonderful

Some synonyms include: good, honest, fair, right.

All of these definitions are good for me. I get it, I understand. To be a righteous person means that you live as quality of a life that you can. You don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself. You live to your own personal moral code, something that most likely falls within the parameters of the social norms of your geographic location. People can believe in you, trust you, know that you are coming from a pure place when you speak and act.

Or you're just totally bitchin' rad, dude.

I don't believe that it's fair to use the term "righteous" in the most common form that's it's been reduced to. It's an insult bandied about when wanting to knock down a person who points out infractions of moral code. In the purest sense of the term, I don't think this really applies. You'd have to extend the phrase to get that to qualify. A righteous asshole would be one to look down on you. A righteous person might just see your flaws and recognize them as such. Being righteous doesn't automatically mean that you're judgmental. I think the two terms can live independently of each other.

What I think that the passage above refers to is that a person who tries to go through life living as morally straight as they can is going to encounter a lot of resistance from those who wish to exploit that earnestness. Iniquities are defined as gross injustices or acts of wickedness. While the general conception of what passes for wickedness changes over the course of history, there are a few basic principles that always have applied. Don't steal. Don't cheat. Don't kill. I understand how that gets attributed to the selfish.

I was accused of being righteous recently (please note that I was not accused of being "self-righteous" which has a very different connotation to it than just plain righteous) but not in the sense that it was applicable. That when I discovered the iniquities of a couple selfish people, I had an "AHA! I caught you!" righteous moment. But how does one act morally cocky (again, best defined with the full phrase "righteous asshole" and not "righteous") in the face of sadness, grief, disappointment and heartbreak?

Simple. One doesn't.

I believe that to act righteous (and to be accused of it by its proper definition) would mean the accuser would witness the accused being a good, moral, upright person. Someone who spoke their word and lived by it. And in that case, what sort of an insult is that? "Hey, dude! You're living your life as a good person! You asshole!" (???)

I didn't always live righteously. I don't always act righteous. I try to always be as good of a person as I can, but I am deeply flawed and I recognize this. So, even in a moment where I have the opportunity to exploit what might be perceived as the upper hand, I do not want to do that. I often choose not to. But again, I'm not perfect. So sometimes I do throw things back in people's faces. However, as I'm trying to point out, a righteous person wouldn't do this. Just an asshole acting on falsely righteous principles.

Thinking today about what I wrote yesterday, I realized that I have been trying to live my life more righteously as I grow up, reflect on my mistakes and attempt to repair the damage I have done to other people's opinion of me, as well as my opinion of myself. And I'll tell you what. My choice to do for Dave's wife what was denied to me is an act of righteousness. And there's not a malicious ounce of motivation behind it. There is no premeditation as a setup for anything to follow. It was just me doing the right, honest, and fair thing.

If ever there was a time for me to start lashing out and screaming about how I'm better than you or You or YOU... I hope I can continue to have the sense that I've been cultivating recently. I have what some might call good reason to act like a righteous asshole. (As opposed to all of the times I have acted that way without true justification.) I have been a fair and honest person while others around me have not. I have acted upon the most moral of choices in the face of others' iniquities and been slapped in the face with their tantrums and accusations. I have been upright. And I have rediscovered just how absolutely genuine and wonderful I am, even when I'm slowly bleeding to death on the inside.

Figuratively speaking, of course. Since I've been throwing around exact definitions here.

Which leaves me with one last thought: If there's a claim that I am not to be trusted, even when baring all for your scrutiny to witness... who is it that you really have no trust in?

But the issue of trust is a whole other topic to blog about.


lrk1977's picture

You are out of practice . . .

What do you want? What do you want from us former friends and fans?

I see a lot of words and not a lot of real substance or insight in these postings, esp. after TWO YEARS of silence . . .



I'm so happy to read your writing again Zara. I missed you! :)

SimplySam's picture

2 cents...

I trust I have been unblocked because you once again desire my opinions?

The issue of trust... now there's a very important subject that certainly piques my interest. Looking forward to that topic.

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