Bad Apples

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I read a story about a couple who were concerned that they were detained at one of the United States borders, on the way to a protest march in Washington. It was almost as if they were complaining of such an inconvenience to their trip. Although I was just going to comment on the article itself, I decided instead, that I would address it here.

With the official swearing in of President Trump this past Friday, I have been making sure to tune in and follow along with what has been transpiring. I am curious about what will happen to the country and how people are reacting. There was no shortage of drama, with protests that turned violent, along with the pomp and circumstance of the day.

Speaking of protests that turn violent, I am of the opinion that it is essential to speak up about what we feel is right and just. On the other hand, the few bad apples that turn a peaceful protest into violent acts of vandalism, assault, theft and mischief, ruin it for anyone who decides to partake in such activities. Perhaps this is why individuals headed to a protest might be investigated further.

When I think of the couple who were headed into the United States to participate in the march, I wonder if they have appropriate health insurance, in the event things go bad. Will the insurance company even cover them, if they were involved in an incident, since they had to know that there is some risk to this behaviour?

I also wonder what people hope to accomplish, at this point, by protesting? I am not even sure what the protests are about. Is it the fact that they do not agree with a democracy? If they do not like the results of the election, would they rather the country go to a different system of electing leaders? What is their message and what will their event accomplish in the end?

I am always amazed when individuals jump on the band wagon of an issue, without even doing their research. Many people may not like the results of an election, but the system is designed to give everyone a say and cast a vote. If their choice is not successful, in the end, does that justify breaking windows at Starbucks, throwing rocks, disobeying police commands and burning or damaging personal and business property, along the way?

Although I am writing this before this particular march in Washington even takes place, I am curious about how it will turn out. Since some of the other protests turned sour, there is always a possibility that this one could as well. If people say that it won’t, because it is a women’s march, don’t kid yourself.

I was at a conference in Toronto, for an event with Oprah where women were arrested after full blown fist fights took place. This all started when women started cutting in front of other women in line. Other than the VIP section, it wasn’t designated seating, so entry to the main doors was on the basis of your place in line. I was very first in line for the general seating, so it wasn’t an issue for me!

I am just saying that I wish people who wanted to take a stand on a message, could all do it in a way that was respectful, organized, effective and peaceful. Otherwise, the bad apples ruin it for everyone.

If that couple happens to get in the middle of a group of people who decide to let their anger get the better of them, I am not sure that I will have any sympathy. What happens if they get seriously injured or arrested because of the actions of someone else? Let’s not be naïve here, not everyone who participates in protests is free of mental health issues, tendencies towards violence or the best social skills when dealing with their anger.

Our society is full of people who are lacking the social skills to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. That is when arguments, assaults, road rage, violence or homicides take place. Whenever someone is arrested for these types of incidents, it screams to the outside world that they are experiencing pain and do not have the skills to deal with their emotions in a healthy way.

Since we can’t do anything about anyone else, all we can do is make sure that we are dealing with our own emotions in a healthy way. We would not want things to get out of control or put ourselves in any situation where we are going to get in the middle of things getting out of hand.

The nicest of people sometimes end up with the wrong person or the wrong crowd or placed in a difficult situation. It can then change their life or the lives of others, in a negative and toxic way. We choose each and every one of our actions and behaviours, whether we want to admit it or not. We also choose how we will overcome or move on.

We are responsible for the decisions that we make and the situations we put ourselves into. If we are in a situation that is going sour, or find ourselves in the company of a bad apple (or we are a bad apple), we are the only person who can change it.

It is in these pivotal moments where our lives are shaped. It only takes one second for things to go wrong. It also only takes one second to make a choice and head in a new direction.

‘It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.’ ~ Anthony Robbins