This Party's Over
Some mistakes you can't undo. No amount of bullshit or avoidance can get you through it. You fuck up and you pay the price.
People make mistakes. Our society is set up in a way that gives folks a lot of leeway ... for better or for worse. Humboldt County, one of the most liberal places I've ever lived (more artists per capita than anywhere in the US!) is a perfect example of what happens, however, when far too many mistakes are forgiven. It's a depressed area both economically and socially. Yeah, we may have many progressive, caring people, but if you look deep enough you see that all they care about is their little universe.
Boyd Rice, a man many find despicable for a host of reasons, once said that justice is when people are held accountable for their actions (to paraphrase) and made to be responsible for them. Stupid people pay the price for being stupid and smart people are not punished for their intelligence. It's a great philosophy, but the exact opposite happens in this world, and far too many people get away with it.
There is one person reading this who knows exactly what I am talking about. There are others reading it who, through people speaking about what they think they know, may think they know what is going on. They don't. And there are going to be people, when this transgression against the group comes out, who may not understand why it is a big deal. I will say it then, but I need to say it now, too.
In times of stress, in times of war, you start to develop close bonds to the people with whom you are serving. You are in the trenches together all trying to accomplish the same goals. If you don't have the same goal in mind, things start to fall apart. Morale gets corrupted, the goal no longer becomes the goal. The goal changes to keeping the group together. In an ideal system, the group will help the weaker members and will play to each other's strengths. They may not get along outside the situation even, but during the operation they work like a well-oiled machine.
At least that's how it's supposed to go.
Betray the group and things turn ugly. It's already starting to happen, and I don't even think everyone knows the extent of it all. A group gets very good at figuring out when things are going South even if they don't know why. The dynamic gets fucked up and people react.
I've been struggling with my role in the group because I am the one who set this in motion. I discovered a betrayal. I did the right thing, and now those in the group who are doing the right thing are struggling with their roles within the group.
It shouldn't have, but it is tearing me up.
Soon, very soon I believe, this group dynamic will change. The group will absorb it, though, and will go on stronger than it was before. As for the member who transgressed ... well, I don't expect it will go well. In fact, if pressed, I'd say it may actually destroy the person (another reason I'm struggling with my role in this).
Friends and family are strange machines. They can be the most comforting thing imaginable or a monster that eats your soul while smiling. They don't make you pay for your mistakes. They are your mistakes personified. One group is what you pick and thus are responsible for. The other is one you stay out of blood obligation, and are therefore responsible for, too. They are your retribution in the flesh.
In the society I dream of when I dream of such things, people would have all the freedom in the world, including the freedom to fuck up their own lives. There would be no laws in place to protect them from themselves. With that freedom, however, would come a very heavy sense of personal responsibility and the knowledge that transgressions against the rest of society would be handled swiftly and justly. The police would have a different role (if they even existed), and people would have to be responsible for keeping their own morals in check. That's the world I dream of, so I try to live my life that way. I try to be responsible for my actions, and I try to do the right thing (according to my morals) when I can ... even when it is ugly.
I know I did the right thing here, and I wouldn't do it over again even if I could. But those decisions, even when they are the right ones, are not made without an emotional conflict and eventual burden. A dear friend told me she thinks I wear the "weight of the world" on my shoulders and it worries her to see that.
Everyone should wear the weight of the world on their shoulders. You don't have to own the problems, but the only way to fix them is to acknowledge them. If you don't, you can't expect others to. If you don't try to fix them, you can't rely on others to. If you don't act upon what you see, if you don't try to see what is around you -- well, you aren't really wearing the weight, you've become the weight. Far too many people are fine with that. I'm not.
I want to get rid of the dead weight.