Tuesday night, at the shared meal for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County, PA, I was reminded of a video of two secretary birds who were fighting over their prey. https://youtu.be/hIApzuxW2fM
At the meal, when a guest momentarily walked away from the chocolate cross he had at his place, like the bird in the video, Birdman crept by, scouting the area. He had come out of nowhere, and snatched up his pray and walked away. As Birdman walked by me, I confronted him about his outlandish, animalistic behavior. I continued to challenge him when he sat down. He smirked, as if what he did was funny; like a little kid, he was smug about having gotten away with something.
You shouldn’t have to supervise someone who is an adult, chronologically.
Except for being banned from at least one of the shared meals and being watched and warned at others, officially Birdman has been given a free pass to act like he is in the jungle. This is a case of the law of the jungle. On occasion, other guests have said or done something about Birdman’s outlandish behavior. For example, a martial arts guy grabbed Birdman’s hand as he reached for the guy’s food, and temporarily numbed it. He added “if you do this again I will really hurt you.”
Maybe I got carried away a little with my anger at Birdman for his savage behavior, but, as I told another guest who admonished me that I was not showing a Christian attitude, “this doesn’t mean we should be a Casper Milquetoast or a Neville Chamberlain.” For those of you in Doylestown: “Caspar Milquetoast was a comic strip character created by H. T. Webster for his cartoon series The Timid Soul. Webster described Caspar Milquetoast as “the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick”. The character’s name is a deliberate misspelling of the name of a bland and fairly inoffensive food, milk toast, which, light and easy to digest, is an appropriate food for someone with a weak or “nervous” stomach.” -Expedia.com
Neville Chamberlain: “Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative Party statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War.” -Expedia.com
I’ve been working on controlling my anger, to make it more constructive, but the fact remains that Birdman’s bad behavior is wrong! People giving Birdman a pass mirrors the modernist philosophy I came across in Charles Keating’s book “Dealing with Difficult People.” In the book, Keating quotes an “expert” who says that “…accurate, objective but unfavorable perceptions may be less desirable for many good relationships than inaccurate but favorable perceptions. Most people want to be accepted for what they would like to be, not for what they really are.” Of course, we should accept people as human beings, but not ignore bad behavior. Not seeing the truth is contrary to Biblical thinking, where you examine yourselves and ask Jesus to get you to walk in God’s ways, to walk in the light of truth, to follow His commands. Yes, there is absolute truth.
Birdman’s behavior and the Milquetoast and Chamberlain tacit endorsement of it is a microcosm of our society today. The opioid epidemic and other social maladies are products of this morally bankrupt culture.
What’s truth got to do with it got to do with it? That’s not a rhetorical question! The truth has everything to do with it. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32