Life Paths

Hogtown’s Animal Sensibilities

I have not seen our beloved police chief so angry and disturbed.  I imagined I saw a tear well up in his eye as he expressed one of the very deep emotions that Torontonians felt over the shooting spree.   Chief Bill Blair captured it well when he called the party-turned-into-shooting-spree a “very shocking incident”.  We know that a popular thought that follows many of these hurtful incidents has been either “NIMBY” or “WIMBY” (not in my backyard or why in my backyard), and the violence has touched every corner of Toronto.

A fragmented and failing approach to tackling crime has its roots in an hodge-podge picture of society, the so-called mosaic of Canadian society.  The budgets that are designed to be tough on crime have only resulted in increasing numbers of younger individuals involved in undisciplined and criminal behaviour.  In my circles we usually say that when you take God of out of the school and the home you take your life in your own hand: the result is inevitable disaster.  There has been no human government of note since Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, and all succeeding attempts at civilization have resulted in more physical trash and unpreccedented philosophical garbage.  It is at times like this where we begin to see what people’s real agendas are.

A familiar theme in law and order work is that if you put a lot of operatives in the field you will have a restraining effect on crime.  Another is that if you can outspend and outshoot the bad guys society will be safer.  Two world wars and a lot of nation-building have proved both ideas wrong and the best legislation cannot change the animal in men.  Even the honourable ladies and gentlemen of your community and mine have no easy task of staying above the fray of beastly behaviour.

Try as we might we cannot sterilize the truth about humanity.  We will fail to find the keys to a safer society if we continue to be a law unto to ourselves – seeing no standard outside of ourselves, and dreaming of being pioneers in civic society without renouncing and fixing our beastly past.

Most nations are on the verge of great advances in every field including the potential for unparalelled nobility.

Will the empire-builders and magnates ever face the fact that we have sown the wind, and are reaping the whirlwind?  Will individuals given to sober thinking, like our Chief of Police, consider that we have, to quote the prophet Amos (5:19), escaped from a lion and met bear, or that or we have entered a house (supposedly a place of safety), and supported ourselves with our hand on the wall, and found ourselves bitten by a serpent?
The mantra about the right to self-defence and governments’ right to protect are ringing hollow because we have been there and done that. Isn’t that why we have not achieved a lasting peace?
The doctor is on call and every citizen, including Torontonians had better wake up and face up to reality of our beastly sensitivies.

Elbert Joseph

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