The Road to 65, Mile 40: Truth

January 7, 2015, Prescott- Lunacy seems to regard itself as truth.  There are, however, parameters by which honest truth may be discerned.  I grew up with a skewed inner view of reality, filtered through the lens of my autism. Thankfully, I was surrounded by anchored parents, loving siblings and an amazing, varied and huge extended family of over 200 people, on both sides.  I also had concerned and engaged neighbours and teachers, for the most part.  People would notice when something was awry with me, and instead of gossiping and ridiculing, they went straight to my parents.

I have done just fine.  My friends and associates, in Arizona and around the world, have been nothing but a blessing in this long and joyful life.  So, I think of those who are not so fortunate.  So many have grown up in hateful or indifferent homes,  where their every word, every move, is questioned or discounted.  This is not just true of girls with misogynist fathers and self-hating mothers.  It happens with boys, also- and the standard can be held way too high, with no allowance for error.

Truth, then, becomes a relative thing.  The hurried, browbeaten, and unrecognized child becomes a prisoner in a surreal existence.  That person’s expressions of reality become twisted, hateful, and fraught with severe pain, both for self, and for everyone around. He or she learns no trust.

No matter who is found responsible for today’s horrific assault on free expression, those three persons, and any accomplices or masterminds will join the long parade of the demented- all the way back to Caligula and Nero, through the ravages of Justinian, Attila,Tamerlane, Ivan IV, the Jacobins, Hitler, Pol Pot and Idi Amin, to the modern monsters, who present a false image of Mohammad- he who forbade graven images of himself- to the world.

I am not talking about the journalists of Charlie Hebdo.  They are no more culpable in this matter than the Danish man who devised a lewd piece of glassware, purporting to depict Christ, so many years ago.  No Christian killed him.  He was simply ignored and his ill-tempered “sculpture” faded into obscurity.  Thus should it be with all such depictions.  None merit capital punishment.

The modern ravagers are those who loudly proclaim themselves “avengers of the Prophet”, knowing deep down that He would disapprove, vehemently.  Even in the darkness of Seventh Century Arabia, Mohammad only sanctioned violence when it was done in self-defense, as unfortunately it was deemed prudent on several occasions.  Their depraved actions spur equally savage responses from non-Muslims.  As Gandhi cautioned, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

So, while French and international investigators sort out the evidence and pursue leads, the world waits to see whether Islamic extremists, or clever agents provocateurs from a Nationalist group, or just-plain hateful miscreants with no agenda other than mayhem, are behind this latest atrocity.  In the end, truth, in its purest form, will be spoken to power.

7 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 40: Truth

  1. Powerful, Gary. Submit as letter to the editor at Arizona Republic. Beautifully written–moderated tone, personal examples, down-to-earth, persuasive.


  2. Yes, great writing! I am not aware of this incident yet, but your words are true, just the same.

    What an amazing community of support you had growing up. It would be a different world if every child could experience that. You cannot regulate the heart of a community, but you can certainly create a fertile ground for the human heart to grow.


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