I hate the concept of “what comes around; goes around,” partly because karma is a lot like one of the great laws of physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite action.
Wishing ill even on bullies, tends to create a sphere of negative influence for the wisher as well as the wished.
So the scandal involving Gov. Christie and the alleged misuse of the Port Authority for political retribution leaves me a tough place and makes me wonder just what the hell he was thinking.
We all have to be more than just a knee jerk reaction to things we like or dislike, and that a large part of being civilized is self control. A person who resists the urge to create instant karma in others has real power.
I keep thinking of that scene in Schindler’s List, when Schindler tells the Nazi that real power is the ability to have it, and choose not to misuse it, not to give in.
Perhaps I feel sorry for Christie because I am so much like him in some ways – not in the political opportunistic way, but in the personal need to tell every jerk I see in the world how big a jerk they are, regardless of the circumstance.
I relate to that poor fool that put himself in front of the Chinese tanks in
Tiananmen Square, knowing that my
personal power cannot possibly match the wrath of the world, but I do it
anyway, simply because someone needs to object to wrong things, even when they
are impossible to stop.
Like Christie, I can’t stop from reacting. This got me in trouble with countless bullies in the mostly white high school my family sent me to after I got in so much trouble confronting street gangs in Paterson as a kid. I recall on very large tackle from the first string of the football team throwing a school desk at my head (and missing).
But there is a huge difference between me and Christie.
I have no political motivation. My idea of person power comes out of the martial arts training I had when younger in which personal strength comes from within, not from those who endorse me. I am like a stone in a road that the tanks must steer around or go over, but I won’t go away.
Christie comes off at a champion of the people, and has worked his entire career building up an image of an independent force that will not tolerate corruption, a phony front that is fed by us in the media and the misperception that the urge to blurt out inappropriate things is power, when all power comes from the ability to control the wrath and steer it in an effective way.
I kept thinking of that video of him holding an ice cream cone when on the boardwalk at the
Jersey shore, and his
chasing after some critic – his state troopers making any physical
confrontation impossible, Christie’s invulnerability paid for by the state.
The problem with manufactured power like Christie’s is that it can’t last. A man shielded by false pride and misperception becomes an easy target when the pieces of his armor fall away – such as the missing link in the dragon Smaug’s armor into which the hero of The Hobbit shoots his arrow.
Christie has been bullying people for several years, scaring people with a badge he bought with his fundraising efforts for George W. Bush, and for the most park, none were willing to stand up against him, fearing that they might be the next target in some bid rig crime scheme his brilliant staff thought up as the next link in his long term plans to become president of the United States.
Seeing him whine at his press conference this week, squirming to get out from the inevitable Karma his pushing and shoving have brought him, made me realize how unpresidential he had become, and how much more like the bully who threw the deck at me head in high school, unable to control himself but always trying to control others – and this lack of self control that so many found refreshing will deny him long lasting power.
He is not the guy in
but the tank that ran that guy over. And that is sad.