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Your Worst Ten Minutes

by dcarr on April 15th, 2012
      I recently sat transfixed in front of my computer watching the YouTube video of the judge who had been secretly taped by his teenaged daughter in anticipation of a spanking for violating family rules.  The assault with the belt was replete with extremely offensive language, made all the more repugnant by the passive assistance of the girl’s mother.  However humiliating the episode, the girl, apparently 16 or 17 years old, suffered no real physical harm to the belting on her backside.   She is seen on the video calmly getting up after  the assault and turning off the hidden video recorder.
     The video, once posted, went viral, and the storm ensued.  The judge suffered immediate removal from the bench, with investigation pending.  All the worse, this particular judge presided over family law disputes, including divorce and custody issues.  He and his wife separated;  the relationship with his daughter must likewise be deeply estranged for her to launch her post.
     My first reaction, as that of most viewers judging from the blog posts, constituted equal parts revulsion and outrage.  What a monster!  The overt sadism of the conduct suggested someone on a very dark power trip.  He must be prosecuted, I thought.  He must be permanently removed from the bench and bar, I concluded.  He must be isolated on an  island colony for human monsters, I silently opined.
     Then a second wave of thoughts struck me, almost completely at odds with the first set:  what if this constituted the momentary raving of a good man overcome by maddening frustration with the challenges of teenage parenting or of life in general?  What if, in the words of the immortal sage, Meatloaf, he stood momentarily “corroded and defeated by anger, envy, and hate.”
     What if I just saw the 10 worst minutes of behavior in his entire life?  What if my 10 worst minutes as a parent, or as a human being, got videotaped and posted on the Internet?  How much better would  I fare?  What would our 10 worst minutes look like for any of us?
     Take no less than Jesus Christ.  He saw buying and selling of goods in the synagogue.  He went postal, according to the Good Book.  He ranted; He shouted; He knocked over furniture; He busted stuff.  If that got videotaped and posted, what would people think of Him, if that presented all they had by which to judge Him?
     So back off from Christ.  How about me?  I have completely lost my temper at my children, my wife, my secretary (merciful God, never striking any of them in the manner shown in the video).  Yet, how would my red-faced shouts look in full color with one million hits and counting?
All this thinking resulting in some resolutions.
     I am done reaching conclusions based on YouTube clips, no matter how visually compelling.  We must remember that context matters, and often much more exists to the story than meets the eye.  I will not judge, lest I be judged.
     I will try and conduct myself so that any random 10 minutes will look good on YouTube.  No easy feat.  Think about it.
     I will do all I can to remind others that YouTube maybe watching at any time for their 10 worst minutes as a human being.  Proceed accordingly, with caution, and perhaps, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

From → Christianity, General

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