This is Mac-level stuff.
Steve commented on the last post that I hadn't addressed several of Bobbe's points. 'Course not. There was no reason to. I didn't really address his theme, either- just let it inspire some thoughts on another aspect of the same subject. So I'm going to be even worse here and run with something that Steve got me thinking- note bene: not stuff Steve said or Steve meant, just some stuff I read into his words that I rarely address.
Two people write on the same subject, one obviously after the other, their general conclusions very different. It can look like disagreement without being disagreement. One can write on how the trivia transmitted can overwhelm the function; the other writes that without a base it's possible to transmit nothing of value, or not transmit at all, and it might mimic someone avoiding trivia. No contention. It's like tracking with a friend- it's not a matter of being wrong, but of looking at different things. I might look at prints and miss the lint on the thorn; my friend might see the strange print configuration of four distinct paws on a direct register animal and not think to smell the dirt which explains it all.
Disagreement leads people to expect some emotional content. That leads, often, to an all-or-nothing mindset: if you really disagree, you must disagree about everything. (This is simplistic, I know. Bear with me.) I never meant to tear down Bobbe's house. I just saw a wall that could use some spackle. But that expectation flow: difference to disagreement to contention to total annihilation is expected in certain circles- in politics, in internet flame wars-
I don't hate criminals. I'm very aware of some of the most horrendous things done in this area. I know the people who did them. Sometimes I knew the victims. But I don't think I could do this job if I expended the emotional energy to hate. I would suck at the job if I turned a blind eye to how the criminals are as people (some are respectful, well-behaved, even wise when they are off drugs and away from a victim pool; some are good parents; most have hopes and dreams) just so I could preserve the integrity of my vision of them as criminals. This is not soft bleeding-heart talk. This is not an either/or. Both are in my head at all times: a particular person may be vicious, depraved and will continue to victimize people until somebody sticks a needle in his arm and a good chess player and mentor to fish who don't know how to do time. I can treat him with respect without extending trust.
This extends to use of force itself. Maybe the threat sees me as an enemy. Maybe he needs to. Maybe he needs to imagine that I am corrupt and evil and the blunt instrument of a repressive society. But I don't have to play the game. By refusing to limit the problem to a him-or-me, by refusing to see it in terms that are expected or demanded, I can choose to make it a problem and not a fight. Or even the step beyond and decide that it isn't a problem at all.
No one fights all out. Almost no one. When it is over and the cuffs are on, I try to recognize and remember that. The fight is over because the threat quit fighting. He chose to quit fighting. No matter who he or she is, the threat could have made the fight harder, worse, more dangerous. Might have won, if they had taken it to a place where my will had crumpled before theirs (and part of it is easy in that most criminals are very aware that if they 'lose' they will not be injured, a comfort the officer does not have. It makes it easier and safer for the threat to quit). Sometimes I say what I am thinking, "Thanks. You could have made that a lot worse. I appreciate that you quit when you did." It's not sarcastic and they seem to respond to the sincerity of it. It's been very calming for psychs and people on stimulants. I don't think you could use the words unless you feel it, but it opens up a door. If the officer is seeing something that allows him to appreciate ... what else is there to see? And, over the years, a lot of inmates have chosen to talk instead of fight when I'm available to try to find another way.
I couldn't access this if I saw conflict as emotion-laden or violent or total. It's just two organisms trying to work something out. Most of the time, the problem isn't even between the two organisms, but between one of the organisms and its environment. As an interested fellow organism I can sometimes share my perspective.
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