Bottom Line: Life Is Not Always Fair
My last column, in which I laid out my own concep tion of the likely Ferguson grand jury findings on the police shooting of Michael Brown, seemed to cause a lot of sound and fury with some readers, leading to charges of “ignorance” and that my “racist-o-meter” is at the far left.” (I’d have thought “far right” might be more accurate.)
I simply predicted the grand jury findings based on events of the first 24 hours after the shooting:
1) The convenience store video of Brown stealing cigars and intimidating the clerk — which may have been taken out of circulation on the orders of Attorney General Holder because it conflicted with the “Gentle Giant” image of Brown his family and friends were trying to concoct.
2) The conflicting testimony of witnesses— some believable and some not.
3) The Coroner’s preliminary forensic report that all of Brown’s bullet wounds were inflicted from the front.
4) The nature of the police officer’s facial injuries caused by Brown in the scuffle in the police car.
5) The timeline of these events. If the grand jury finds differently, I may have egg on my face.
If the grand jury basically concurs, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Al Sharpton have egg on theirs. But they never seem to mind.
I wrote the column building up to the bottom line advice to our younger generation, and it’s worth repeating: If a police officer orders you to do something, do it — now! Even if you don’t think the order is fair, obey first, then argue.
I even got static from a few readers on that.
It’s apparent that too many of us don’t understand the most basic tenet of existence:
Life isn’t fair — no matter how unfair that seems to be.
And on those occasions when we end up holding the short end of the stick, we must maintain perspective. The best we can do to minimize the impact of that inevitable unfairness is to prepare ourselves emotionally and psychologically for unfair occasions and times. The knowledge that it happens to everybody at one time or another helps, and that “that fate doesn’t have it in for just me.”
How we deal with unfairness is critical. If it leads to anger, chances are we will over react and make things worse. If we can cope with unfairness with equanimity, the negative impact will be less. And these are attitudes over which we have significant control. And eventually the impact of the unfairness will pass.
For you readers who have misconstrued my words as “racist speculation,” you should know that — like Martin Luther King Jr. — I too “look for the day when we judge a person not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
And I’m sure my black daughter-in-law and two hapa grandsons — who I love and respect dearly — would agree.