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Drawing the Line

by on October 12, 2014

                                                            Drawing the Line

                                                           by Marco M. Pardi

 Note: All comments are appreciated, read, and responded to accordingly.  The COMMENTS sections for all previous articles have been opened for use.  I will certainly look forward to your comments.  Comments that do not specifically address content will be trashed as SPAM.

Glib advice and trite sayings are like plastic forks: Cheap, easily available, and prone to failure when applied to anything substantial. We’ve all heard them. Forgive and forget. Turn the other cheek.  For better or worse, I do not forget.  And, forgive usually means that person is out of range just now.  On occasion I’ve turned the other cheek.  Good way to set up a sucker punch.

That paragraph was about as far as I got while spending some days in the mountains of western North Carolina.  I intended to write a piece on the reality of living and surviving among people oriented very differently from the “Love is all we need” crowd.  People who would do, and did, things I will not detail here.  People for whom love was not the appropriate response. The winding roads I traveled were metaphors for the memories and thoughts coursing through my mind, ever threatening to spill over in ways that would have soured the moment and earned me a “What was that all about?”

Although readers of my blog may not agree with my conclusions regarding certain topics,  I feel safe in saying that I try to not do a half-assed job of presenting them.  And so, my discomfort finally developed into the realization that, yes, I could run on for hundreds of grim pages, presenting years worth of soul wrenching experiences and what I considered then, and now, necessary responses, but my own health comes first.  I’ve gotten better.  Currently, when asked about my long distance carrier I’m less likely to respond with SA M110 FCP HS Precision .338 Lapua w/Nightforce 15-55X 52MM scope and Harris bipod.  But I still advise against startling me unless you have your orthopedic surgeon on speed dial.

When I got in last night I read Rose’s excellent recollection of her trip to hear and see the Dalai Lama (foodfaerie | A topnotch site ).  A truly masterful piece about a timeless individual.  In no way would I detract from his message or from Rose’s experience in receiving it.  I would say that I’ve dealt with countless people who would kill the Dalai Lama for the change in his pocket, if he had one, or because he looked different.  But Rose is apparently an exceptional person; just outside the doors of the venue in which he spoke were other establishments frequented by people more likely to respond to his presence with, “One o’ them booodist idolator Jeesus haters.”  I doubt, however, that any of this would rise to open violence.

So, in a way I had not intended, I am drawing the line.  Not the line between us and those persons for whom violence appears to be the only appropriate response, but between what I know and what I will say.

I pay for this site. There is plenty of space on it.  I invite you to have your say.



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  1. Dana permalink

    Marco, thank you for the invitation.

    Your own health and overall well-being should come first, and I would like to imagine your trip to the mountains was a relaxing respite. However, I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear you were off supporting others in some way.

    I often feel I haven’t much to say, but appreciate the efforts of others, like Rose. She is a treasure to be shared, and I hope this will catch on (hope…ugh).

    This network is vital to me, especially throughout the past few years of major life changes. “Thank you” doesn’t seem adequate when attempting to express what I feel.


    • Thank you, Dana


    • Thank you, Dana. I do feel very fortunate that we can all “be together” through this venue. As I started to enumerate examples of people for whom love is just not an adequate answer I quickly found myself with a volume that was both unmanageable and putting me in a very bad place. So, I chose to draw that line, ill advised or not, rather than cross it in only a barely partial way. Thanks for your understanding.


  2. Mark Dohle permalink

    There is no magic bullet that will change things my friend. Yet the way mankind has done things over time, or dealt with others does not seem to work. There are evil people out there, hateful ones, who are in fact quite sane……that is what makes it scary.

    I struggle with inner violence all the time. I have just realized that this comes from my being anxious. Now that I have named it, it is obvious, yet I hate being anxious and not in control…..even if at times I pretend that I am.

    To defend oneself, or to stay from people who will do harm at the drip of a dime, or who look at others as mere objects to be used, do need to be stayed away from if possible. On a personal note, when someone does something to me and I react in kind, they win, the virus is passed on, they win and I lose.

    Forgiveness and non-violence can not change the world, it does however lessen the power of evil to re-create me in its image and likeness. As a Christian I may have ways of dealing with this that those who believe differently do not. Our instinct leans us to react, to strike out, yet in the end, like I said above, we lose they win.

    We both agree about NDE’s and their importance. As you know the life review is for me the most important part of the NDE… points to the fact that whatever we do to others, we do on some level experience it as well. It is only when we pass over that we live it out, fully and without mercy it seems. Though I believe that it is in reality a grace and mercy.

    The war between good and evil, or violence and non-violence is in the end fought in one heart at a time. We either stop the cycle, or make new ones. Making new ones, the reaction is easy, by that I mean we don’t don’t have to think about it, we just do it.

    By the way, many Christian love the Dali Lama. Conservative Christians on the whole do not kill others because they believe differently. At least not now-a-days. It is those who don’t think, or seek the ‘light’ who perhaps more easily give in to the desire to hurt, to share their pain with others in the vain attempt to alleviate their own.

    Jesus taught non-violence, if not pacifism, and love of enemies, which is very difficult. In any case, I am not sure the violence is getting less, though I would like to think so. Now is the time to recommit to become ever more human and not allowing the darker aspects of our nature to eat us alive.

    I believe that when Jesus said this “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” was the a truly human act, one we are called to grown into as well……a life long journey my dear friend for all of us.


    • Dana permalink

      Well said, Br. Mark.


    • Thank you so much, Mark. I learn from you in each of your writings. It is indeed hard to accept the idea that a response in kind is always a loss – especially when the alternative is grievous injury or death to the self or others. It’s almost like one can hear the words, “Look what you made me do.” By the way, those words offer no consolation in the long run, just sadness that the world is what it is. Which is why I drew the line where I did rather than wallow in sadness.

      A part of me feels somewhat elitist when I pronounce that many people are Christian in name only. Yet, I think that is true. You, however, are a beacon. As you well know, people come to beacons for various reasons and I admire the strength with which you meet each one.


  3. Marco, Thank you for your compliments, although I am not certain that they are deserved. I have never considered myself to be exceptional in any way, but it pleases me that I find favor in your eyes. I have tried to forget the wrongs done to me, but this is proving much harder than I would have expected. I’ve also tried to forgive, but the damage is done, and true forgiveness will, I fear, elude me until the memories fade from my heart. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    The problem with the concept of humanity is that it lies within the realm of human nature, which is not so humane. There is one statement with which I am sure you will agree, trite or not. “The more I know of humans, the better I like my dog.”


    • Rose. I like to think I do not give compliments; I state an honest and fair appraisal. Were I more eloquent my assessments of you would exceed what I have written.

      I guess each of us struggles with the disparity between our ideals and our reals, causing us to question our ideals anew.

      I love that last line, and have thought that in so many words as long as I can remember.


  4. Marco, after all these wonderful comments, i don`t have much to say , but how we respond to violence and injustice has been a constant `question` in my life.
    And for some reason, more than violence , it is injustice that holds my trigger :-), especially if done to others for whom i care about.
    Or maybe I was never exposed to that much violence that required proper response.

    To be honest though, what Brother Mark says totally resonates within me and I guess that if i knew how to write that well, I would have said it just the same.

    Nevertheless, there is a part of me ( the part that is not FOAL, lol) that really loves the way you put it … quoting “And, forgive usually means that person is out of range just now.”

    Well, this made me laugh so hard , but also hit a chord and brought about some memories of years past…
    Anyway, I love reading your thoughts , just as i love the sense of warm and intelligent camaraderie that I feel in this `circle` ! Thanks for making it happen !!!

    PS. Hope it is OK writing this here, because my emails still `struggle`, but last week or the week before last, Those Moments got 26 views on Twitter, and one was favorited !! that never happened for my posts, the maximum I got is less than ten !! so you are really going strong and I see you receive so many more comments from strangers all over the world. And I just am so happy !!


    • Thank you, FOAL. I agree with you about injustice. Straight up violence is easy to deal with; you just make sure you are better at it and keep in mind the saying, “Don’t take this personally.”

      I daresay I speak for all of us when saying that having you with us is truly a joy. My account provides “hit” information and locations, but nothing beyond that. The spam filter does catch dozens of comments apparently meant to entice me to respond and make this site vulnerable in some way. It may be that I delete some genuine responses, but I choose to not chance a problem.


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