The sunburn stops abruptly at an imaginary line long my shoulder, ending where my sleeves did double duty – clothing my nakedness and blocking the sun. When time mellows the red, all I’ll have left is a farmer’s tan and thicker freckles.
I’ve heard of sunscreen. I simply chose to ignore it.
By the end of today’s cookout, a project for a group of needy children, I’d also wrenched my back by following a spry boy around on the jungle gym.
Girls can hang upside down on monkey bars without incident.
I made some pretty ignorant mistakes today. And I’m not all that stupid, usually. In fact, I’m considered intelligent…when the comparison is on a curve.
But I’m human. The word can also be translated into “flawed”. I’m human; therefore, I err. It’s one of those quirky characteristics that make us…well, quirky. It gives us character. And it gives us pain. It’s a great reminder should we mistake ourselves for divinity.
This is the lesson that big government advocates missed. How? I have no idea. I’m not God. I’m human, remember?
They believe, they must because of their actions, that only certain humans are flawed. Only those outside of government (all capitalists are either ignorant or evil or both).
But back to my sunburn. I can’t stop thinking about it. It won’t let me.
I thought about it when I read about Obama issuing a generic statement about Iran before heading out for ice cream with his daughters.
I thought about it when I listened to a poem an Iranian woman recited over the nighttime sounds of chanting, screaming, and gunshots.
I thought about it when I watched a young girl, observing the protests with her father, targeted by the regime and shot in the heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about it while this strikingly beautiful young woman bled to death before my eyes, before the eyes of the world, before the eyes of her father. I just couldn’t stop thinking about my sunburn.
Humans, we’re imperfect. We are. Gloriously defunct. We make mistakes, sometimes the same ones, over and over again. Our choices are often wrong. Our opinions are often misinformed. Our actions are often poorly motivated.
We’re gaffe masters. And if not given the leg room to stretch out our faux paus, we’ll never learn. We’ll never really live.
That is what the Iranian protesters are fighting for: the right to make their own mistakes without fear of government punishment. To fail and succeed. To choose one or the other. To truly live. They are so hungry for freedom, they are dying in the streets to obtain it.
For big government advocates, control is compassion. We’ve got to stop people from making mistakes so we’ll imprison them with mandatory regulations.
In truth, this is only a trade. Government lovers swap the choice to make your own mistakes for the lack of choice to make the government’s mistakes.
Governments err, too. They are comprised of humans, of course they err. In fact, the bigger they are, the more errant they become. Why? My hypothesis is it takes more people to control more people.
The Iranian protests simply want to be individuals. Singular malfunctioning humans.
And that will always be under attack. The free mind is the only real threat of dictators, socialist rulers, and big government advocates. The free mind cannot be governed. Cannot be controlled. Cannot be enslaved.
The free mind chooses whether to apply sunscreen or whether to suffer the consequences later. The major difference: when I made my mistake, the only one burned was myself.