I blame you, Dear Man.
I thank Dear Man! I get to eat.
They look beautiful, Jessica!
They are tasty. I may just call this lunch and be done (not to mention highly satisfied) with it.
Homer Simpson made me do it.
I had a terribly rude awakening in my twenties when I saw my mother’s deeply seated and previously well hidden akrasia. From my childhood, she was always a strict disciplinarian whose sense of morality and idealism always directed my developing sense of right and wrong. This was never more true when it came to racism. She was quite lucid, logical, astute and eloquent in her sharp criticisms of blacks who cite the racism we’ve experienced in Europe and North America from non-blacks as an excuse to be hateful in return, especially towards whites. The idea of her ever espousing the sentiments that she repeatedly, loudly even publicly cut down never entered my head. That is, until I became an independent, free thinking adult male who just happened to fall in love with a Caucasian woman who happened to fall in love with me.
That’s when I saw my mother’s hypocricy and racism. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. Someone who clearly knows the difference between right and wrong, and taught me so with nothing less than military style intensity, cannot go from right to wrong. Yet there it is. In my face. Undeniable, and with the moral sense of right that I do possess, I would be a damn fool to not recognize her error for exactly what it is, regardless of the fact that she’s my mother and I still love her (I suspect that most others in my position, regardless of race, ethnicity or whatever social group, would not be as upfront as this about someone they adore).
Although I’ve finally found it within myself to forgive her; it took nearly twenty years, I am still ashamed of her behaviour. Angry at her mind.
That’s a powerful story. Life, and people are complicated, akrasia just combs the surface. But with akrasia comes the guilt and shame of knowing for oneself that what they are doing violates their own intellect or sense of morality. And that at least is a step up from arrogant certainty and self entitled shamelessness. That you had the strength of heart to go through what you did, and end up with forgiveness says a lot about the kind of man you are.
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