Thursday, June 19, 2014


The thief stalks his victims from the shadows. He strikes from a position of practiced strength with absolute surprise. Our attention focused on other things - bread, milk, cheese, soccer practice schedule. While we fumble to adjust to the sudden stark shift in our reality, to the unexpected shock, to the present danger, they make quick work of us. Another easy mark. By the time we have come to ourselves, regaining some measure of mental acuity and agility, they are long gone. Counting their ill-gotten treasure, never once do they give us another moment of thought, already their mind fixated on spending their gain or looking for their next score. Meanwhile, the innocent left behind is dealing with a dense cloud of turmoil that has overwhelmed the bubble of peace and normalcy that they had known just a short while earlier.

Brigands, pirates, and highwaymen are not just fictional contrivances in fairy tales, two-dimensional caricatures in the latest thriller on the new releases table at the bookstore. They are all around us. They are you and me. So many times we can hurt other people, wound them deeply, and just go on about our lives as if nothing happened, or even be pleased with ourselves for giving someone what we feel they had coming or what they deserved. In the fog of our ruthlessness we may even be pleased at how efficient our attack was. The blindside attack is the most devastating, the most brutal, and most effective precisely because those we aim our weapons at never saw it coming. Yet I think that in most of these situations, especially when it is someone that we are close to, it never really dawns on us how egregiously we have hurt someone else. Such attacks lead to the deepest scars that run straight through the heart.