Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What makes you mad enough to act?

Some random thoughts:

Last week a few of us here watched the movie Patriot Games.  The other day as I was walking into town I was thinking about the dialogue between Harrison Ford and Samuel L. Jackson's characters.  As the film starts Ford, playing Jack Ryan, is in London and sees an attack on the royal family.  He comes out from behind the car he's ducking behind and takes down a few of the terrorists.  He's un armed, but manages to get one of their guns.  In the exchange he is shot in the shoulder.  Later on Jackson's charter asks him why he did it.  Compliments of IMDB, here's the exchange:

Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson: So, you just waded on in like John Wayne. Why'd you do it? What were you thinking, man? 
Jack Ryan: I don't know. I wasn't thinking. 
Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson: That's it? You sound like some of my students. 
Jack Ryan: It just pissed me off. I couldn't just stand there and watch him shoot those people right in front of me...Just made me mad. 

I really like Jack Ryan's reply.  It just made him mad.  It made him mad to see this group of terrorists killing people.  It made him angry enough to leap into action.  As I thought about those short lines I realized that many of my experiences in Kenya have a similar explanation.

As I walk through town I see so many things that don't sit well with me.  I see security guards that beat children with night sticks.  I saw many people standing by mocking as a young man was beaten half to death.  I saw a group of thieves stealing from people for more than 4 months straight.  It seems that in almost any direction I look there is some kind of oppression.  Police are taking bribes, innocent children are forced to the streets by parents that quite frankly shouldn't be parents, people are being oppressed.

We all, I think, have something in us that tells us that these things are wrong.  For me, I see these situations and on some level it makes me mad.  Mad enough to do something.  I can't stand by and simply watch some of these things and do nothing.

I think that there is a righteous anger that exists.  It's an anger at a situation that isn't right.  It's an anger that forces us to leap to action.  I see this level of oppression and it's the situation that angers me.  It's the attitudes that bother me.  We all have different passions.  We all have different things that make us mad.  We all also have a choice to make when we see an injustice.  We can  either sit by and allow it or to get up and do something about it.

What makes you mad enough to act?

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