The Love Factor & The Drug Question
We believe that it is safe to say that, in general, the felon becomes invisible to people once they are in prison or jail. Indeed, most of the “good hearts and gentle people” of ordinary society are indoctrinated to believe that the world is better off with the law breaker safely behind bars and this is where they ALLbelong. In fact, we hear all the clichés regularly—if they hadn’t committed a crime they wouldn’t be in prison…they got themselves into trouble so let them pay the price…if they did the right thing they wouldn’t be there…they are all the bad apples of society so let them rot and so forth.
While none of us deny that, while we don’t have an alternative to prisons, all these hateful and non-compassionate views are reasonable in the least. *After all, no one is denying that there are some extremely dangerous and calloused inmates that truly are a danger to the rest of us.
There are, however, hundreds of thousands of inmates who simply SHOULD NOT beincarcerated at all. And yet, their lives are virtually ruined by the very fact that they are and will be condemned as the felon for the rest of their lives.
Tyrannies and other totalitarian governments imprison people at will—such governments make up rules and take steal away people’s lives in the name of the state and so forth. Communist country’s are well known for jailing people for many of our basic rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of press. Every school-age child knows this of course.
As a people—called Americans—we are generally proud that these human atrocities do not happen in the United States. But wait…if you had a son or daughter let’s say arrested and sentenced to prison for something like taking drugs would you not call this unjust?
After all, that child will be exposed to those dangerous and calloused criminals acknowledged in the above and when they are finally released will be branded the felon forever…yes, forever.
A slice of the Love Factor cake is that each of us is endowed with unimaginable rights. A clear and distinct violation of these rights is the right to pursue happiness. This is not only an obvious human right but constitutional as well.
(Are we in favor of taking drugs…smoking pot…drinking oneself into a stupor. absolutely not. But we are in favor of the right to do what we want to do in private as long as we are adults and we do not coerce or harm anyone else.)
We will be talking much more about this issue a little later on but first we will share a story with you that points out what is wrong with tossing people in jail for simply doing what they want to do. And, in the regard, we need not mention that if there were no drug laws, there would be no drug cartels, no gangs building fortunes out of the drug trade and no murders for territorial rights for drug dealing and no one in prison for drug use or possession. Change the law and all this simply goes away…
With all this in the backs of our minds however let’s talk about Marijuana. Here’s a true story that I will retell from another writer: There was this fifty year old man who had spent much of his life as a poet, author and publisher. A serious problem that he had is that he had been arrested for growing marihuana plants and was waiting to see if the judge would send him to prison or let him serve his sentence at home.
The biggest problem was that this particular judge would NOT permit this man explain his case to a jury. If the judge had permitted this, he probably would NOT have been facing any sentencing at all. After all his argument would have been that he had a right to use marijuana because on Proposition 215 passed intoCaliforniaconstitutional law in 1996. That is, infirm Californians who find medical relief from marijuana were permitted to use it.
The problem was that the judge would NOT permit anyone to mention that the man had AIDS and that marijuana relieved his symptoms. The man’s symptom was that he would go into terrible and harsh vomiting sessions and ONLY marijuana worked for him. He had taken a drug named Marinol, a legal substitute, but this drug only worked for him around one-third of the time. Never the less he pleas to the courts landed on deaf ears. And the judge’s bail terms forbid this sick man to use marijuana and had to submit a weekly urine test to the courts to prove that he was NOT taking any while in the privacy of his own home.
Not wanting to live out his life in prison this man abided by the judge’s ruling and did NOT smoke marijuana. In the interim of all this there was some good news—the man’s cancer went into the remission but the vomiting problem remained. Whenever this man took his medicine he would vomit it up. Again, it was ONLY marijuana that stopped his vomiting.
So how did this man die?
He was taking a bath one day and started vomiting and…he choked to death. In short, he died because of the arrogance of particular judge’s rule. At least the original writer of this true story writes this question: “Is it said, in plain language, that the judge’s obstinacy resulted in killing McWilliams?”
The victim of AIDS and the Courts was Peter McWilliams, a man beloved and respected by a great many for his writing skills and poetic creations.
The writer who shares this story is none other thanAmerica’s most renowned conservative William F. Buckley Jr.
The federal judge inCaliforniawas George King.
For purposes here—we will be covering much more about drug laws over time—we ask that age old question that forever provokes so much contemplation: Is it not the purpose of the law that needs to lead and influence the judiciary of a free nation as apposed to the letter of the law?
When we think of this tragic story we realize that the letter of the law can be and is unjust by its very nature. This is precisely why The Love Factor philosophy offers that no one—NO ONE—should be behind prison bars for non-victim crimes. There is in fact, as Peter McWilliams put it in his own book, *Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, “the absurdity of consensual crimes in our free country.”
In regard to the above it is the position of The Love Factor that we (The United States) become a county of justice as opposed to a country of laws.
*The story retold here can be found in the front of Peter McWilliams book, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business that You Do.” Recommended reading!
ASPECTS OF THE LOVE FACTOR
We are all faced with challenges as each day unfolds—some of these challenges feel overwhelming while others simply give us the pain of uncertainty or upset.
Invariably we feel like we are victims of circumstances. If it weren’t for others or the luck of the draw I wouldn’t be in this mess or have this solemn attitude. And, depending on who we are, we either respond to the world with anger, or with defeat and surrender or just feelings of helplessness and/or aloneness. In regard to these kinds of circumstances the truth is that when we are feeling unloved we mostly “feel” unloving.
This is the very reason that we fail…ourselves.
In every circumstance of our lives there is the love factor to consider. We all know, no matter whom we are, that when we act outside of love we do unloving acts. We scream and belittle those that we most adore…we do poorly at our jobs or careers…we cheat or lie or we become lackadaisical in our goals and ambitions. And more, we ALWAYS find someone to blame for our own misconduct or misfortune. When we act outside of love, ego prevails and ego is always self-preserving and so self-centered.
No matter how you cut it in all most every circumstance of unhappiness the ego has been your guru, the leader of your fate. For example if you are in prison right now for committing a (real) crime or if you are failing at your career or in your marriage or, for that matter, life in general, you are a victim indeed. But not a victim of society or your spouse or your boss or your bad luck but clearly you are a victim of your ego.
The ego, by its very nature, claims to love deeply and sincerely, claims to be both generous and caring but when it doesn’t get its way…watch out.
In this regard, *the ego is a trickster as it convinces those that possess it that they are goodness betrayed.
Indeed, the ego forever whispers in your ear, if I had been born to different parents, if I’d been raised in a different neighborhood, if I had married someone else, if I’d gone further in school, if this or that hadn’t happened and so forth, I’d be happier, wealthier, more loving and content; I’d be the me that I know I really am.
To combat these false gods of failure, human beings often create persona selves. That is, personalities for the world to see. Some people create images of themselves into ruthless, calloused human beings. Ain’t nobody that can hurt me…some people create images of supreme goodness and caring. All I ever try and do is the right thing…some people create themselves in the image of “cool” or “righteousness” or “genius” something else that they deem favorable to the significant others in their lives and even to strangers. In short, they waste away their lives playing a role. Some people play the role so much that they actually become who they pretend to be.
All this in unloving human action! Even that person who acts out being the do-gooder is merely fulfilling his or her ego desires when persona leads the way. The major problem with all this is that it buries the real self in the depth of consciousness. It makes people lose contact with themselves and connect to the ego’s realities.
In today’s society we constantly hear, for example, about drive-by shootings. Some of this is about drug wars of course but also these catastrophes often take away human life for no reason whatsoever beyond gaining “image.” Image for self and/or for others!
While there can be countless, deeply rooted psychological problems that permit one human being to decide that it’s bravado to kill another human being, I suspect that the basic (or underlying reason) is connected to, of all things, deflated ego.
Put into a different context, let’s take the boy who is given a B.B. gun for, we’ll say, his birthday. Keeping with this scenario, we’ll also say that he is basically a good boy, from an ordinary family environment and so he hasn’t necessarily been kicked around or neglected. The gun, however, gives him feelings of advantage and strength; a touch of Rambo-ism. So one day, he is sitting out in his yard and he sees a bird land on a stone. Excited, he lifts the rifle, aims and fires. The bird falls.
While some would argue that he was responding to his inner-hunter-nature or even the roots of natural male violent aggression, we disagree with this analysis. Indeed, when this boy walks over to pick up his trophy, he may feel deep empathy and regret for killing the helpless bird.
Why is this?
His true motive was not to murder a living thing but to control it. This will-to-control is basic to the deflated ego although it demonstrates itself as being the pomp of ego. Healthy ego has no need to control and is indeed tolerant and understanding…compassionate!
We also argue with those who believe that violence is all or nearly all connected to an individual’s biology. We do not accept the idea that anyone is or can be simply born a bad seed.
These days it is thought by many that asDNAgenetically constructs the individual’s body so it is with human psyche. What this implies is that each of us is pre-determined, by nature, to be good or evil, aggressive or passive, smart or dumb and so forth.
In regard to this we ask questions such as why is it that, say, a youngster who was molested as a child is more apt to molest children as an adult than those who were not victimized as children. And, why is it that children growing up in unloving and none-nurturing environments tend to end up committing far more violent crimes than do children who grow up in loving and nurturing environments?
While many professionals scoff at this, we offer that violence, even hatefulness, callousness and so on are qualities that erupt from feelings of not being loved. When a child grows up in an unloving home life that child’s ego can begin to worship the image of being unlovable. And thus, this becomes the motivation to do unlovable acts .
In this view the deep hurt (the terrible pain) that especially the child endures when he or she is raised in an unloving environment often evolves into anger (even outrage) to cover up the anguish of feeling uncared for.
How many prisoners does this describe or at least reflect? Many!
And so we are convinced that adding the love factor can reduce that torment of many who have already fallen through the cracks of normal human life. And while such inmates are most apt to deny that they need or desire love at all, in the deepest depths of themselves they will invariably find an unloving parent or environment that turned their loving nature into hatefulness; into cold-stone protective psychological barriers.
Can this be so?
It is interesting but once, during an interview the world renowned Dr. Bernie Siegel was asked what we human beings might do to make the world a better, safer and more peaceful place. And he answered, “If you want to change the world, you can. Love the children today and they will take that love into the next generation with them.”
Something vitally important to think about.
More on violence on a later date.