Monster or revolutionary? Hero or villain? From the torrent of comments on Twitter and Facebook, it’s fairly clear that most put Justin Bourque, the Moncton cop-killer in the same category as Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh, or Osama Bin Laden. I am glad that Justin Bourque was caught, I am glad no one else was killed, but what surprised me was the amount of Canadians, young and old, male and female, voicing their desire for the shooter to die in a barrage of bullets. Among the comments were even a few requests that Canada reinstate the death penalty.
When checking out at the grocery store the other day, I realized the cashier hadn’t given me the one plastic bag I’d asked for (at this store, you have to purchase each bag). I’d filled my two cloth bags and so I turned to the cashier to to ask for one, and what came out of my mouth was, “Uh, one bag?” She told me I hadn’t paid for one, to which I sarcastically snapped, “Well, I asked for one.”
I could tell the cashier wasn’t impressed. To clarify, I hadn’t meant to sound sarcastic or rude. I wasn’t having a bad day; in fact, it was a good morning. So why was my ad hoc response to a simple miscommunication delivered with such a rude tone?
We all live with this fundamental principle underscoring our entire worldview: I am the most important person in my life.
I saw this image come through my news feed this morning. And it angered me (if you posted it, this isn’t an attack against you; this picture just started a morning-long conversation in my head). It’s a cute picture, and it’s a cute sentiment. The idea is that ‘she’ makes everything better. ‘She’ cancels out the negative thoughts and self-talk in his mind. Essentially, she saves him.
Just like that terrible movie, A Walk To Remember. Again, a cute movie, but like so many movies, idealizes a view of relationships that is actually quite destructive (I realize I’ve scandalized a lot of you by now). That movie, like this image, sets my blood on fire. And here’s why:
It is extremely selfish and a terrible burden to lay on someone you love to expect them to save you.
A common joke from married men is, “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?” Another simple one is, “Happy wife, happy life.” Though jokes, they seem to be a somewhat true indicator of an attitude that does exist in relationships, but is this right?
Yesterday, my girlfriend and I were joking about this as we drove to a friend’s house. On the way back, she turned on the GPS and I asked if she didn’t trust my directions. It was a joke, but it also wasn’t. Frustrated, I vented somewhat jokingly and a little self-righteously until she told me that sometimes, I talk too much. Now I was really frustrated and I felt that she’d just dismissed a valid critique. But I let the issue drop because I’d rather be begrudgingly happy than right.
Is this what relationships amount to, or is there a better resolution?
Welcome to Mark Stromenberg’s blog and website. I have just started this, but plan on updating it regularly. Please consider clicking the FOLLOW button on the right hand side bar to receive emails about new posts.
Please share or comment on any posts that you like!