Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘Punishment’ Category

The Nature of Man

leave a comment »

Adam and GodShould a wolf be rewarded for its cunningness? Should a snake be punished for its ability to strike without being seen? Who is above the fray that they should judge whether one is deserving of a reward or punishment? Who is holy enough that they should cast judgment on one’s nature, and one’s ability to please God?

We each live our lives, hopefully by the best of our intentions, but does this make us the maker of kings and the deliverer of justice? We are no better and no worse than our highest ideals and our lowest of lows. Happiness does not come from denying happiness to others. Nor does it come from shunning what we cannot understand. Happiness ultimately will come from not only accepting ourselves, but also from accepting that we cannot control others.

We can become prisoners of our own jealousy and pride, or we can set ourselves free from the seemingly endless critiques and judgments. Perhaps in writing this or even in contemplating this aspect of our nature, we can be hypocritical, but is it not better to accept and move on from one’s faults, rather than claiming none ever existed in the first place?


Written by Sidewalk Bends

October 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Discover it in You

leave a comment »

bound handsHow do we separate the oppressor from the hero? Perhaps we cannot separate the two. They are one in the same,
for one person’s hero is another’s oppressor. We build monuments to all things we consider heroic and try to
destroy and hide all the things we consider disgraceful. But how can we distinguish the two? Who is to say
which is which? And when it’s been decided, what side of the coin do we land on?

Others will try to answer these questions for us and many of us will blindly take it all in, but in doing so
haven’t we given up our free will to another? Do we not enable others to decide our fate, to judge us? We are
all links in the chain. Large and small, our strength comes from each other.

Hidden in the desert, berried at sea, or just locked away in our own hearts and minds, we are all the same.
We are heroes and oppressors alike. We may be heroes to others, but to ourselves, an oppressor. We
hide behind our jobs, behind our children, behind half crooked smiles. We hide our true selves to please

I am a hero. I am an oppressor. And yet they both do not have to be. I am perfectly imperfect and this is me.
Now, can you discover it in you?

Written by Sidewalk Bends

October 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Escaping Justice

leave a comment »

Casey Anthony verdict What is justice? Is it punishment meted out by courts? Is it being seen as the victor in the eyes of peers? Is it never forgetting the harm and the cruelty inflicted by others? Is it the vindication of perceived and real slights? Is it the recognition of one’s disenchantment and dehumanization? Is it being seen as an equal in the eyes of those who claim no equals? Is it an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth? What is justice to you?

Perhaps justice is none of these things. Perhaps like so many other things, it is simply an illusion of temporary fulfillment? And though it does not fulfill the heart, it pleases the mind to know that one’s cause has not been forgotten. However, if one were to truly accept of themselves and to love of themselves, would justice still exist? Would it have a purpose, or would it simply stand as a distraction?

Though the mind may be pleased, true justice comes when the heart can forgive and the mind can accept. Rather than putting a pain away for another day, peace is realized and justice fades away as another form of judgment we place on one another. Justice in the eyes of men and women become empty breaths of despair. Justice is not the mob. It is neither punishment nor retribution. Justice, seen and felt in the soul is love, understanding.

Dog Pile

leave a comment »

Line of jurors for Casey Anthony trial

What can we say for ourselves when we take joy in the destruction and dismantling of others? What does that say about us? Have our hearts’ become cold? Have we removed ourselves completely from feeling any empathy or compassion towards others? Have we become so cynical that seeing others in pain brings us enjoyment? We gather to see a spectacle, but in the process, do we not become the spectacle? Are we not taking part in the dismantling of ourselves?

All too often we try to mask our own pain by bringing to attention the pain and suffering of others. But rather than alleviating anyone’s suffering, all we do is throw more fuel onto an already burning fire and turn a blind eye towards our own issues. We smile and put up a proud face, but underneath, the pain is all too clear. And so rather than face it, we point it out in others.

We smile and we laugh and we give all the reasons for why others are imperfect, never giving a second thought to ourselves. Each person has their own trials. Each person learns in their way. Each person comes to an understanding of the truth by their own choices. If we could allow that, and learn to understand that despite our own suffering, we need not bring others into it. So rather than jumping in on the dog pile, perhaps we can have some sympathy and compassion.

photo credit: Bay News 9

Stand Tall

with one comment

Throughout our lives we are all met with struggles and challenges. Some bring heartache and others bring consternation. Though we may try to hide our pain and to hide our anguish, our suffering is often all too clear. Like deep scars, we wear our worries on our face. Only hidden from ourselves, our suffering is clear to all who would dare to care. But alone, we are not. Judged, we are not. Condemned, we are not. This is the buried life. Beneath the facade, the suffering runs deep as tears fill the cracks. Release them. Release them.

Hollow gestures, no more. Release the pain. Release the resentment. Your past is no more. Lessons learned and carried forward; stand tall my brother; stand tall my sister. Stand tall with me and let the tears run dry. Let the worries fade and the pain subside. Stand tall with me. Show mercy on yourself. Forgiveness lies with you and not with He.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

November 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Creating an Animal

leave a comment »

Palestinian prisonerWe treat people like animals and then we wonder why they bite back and act like animals. We dole out punishment for a crime or an act, but when that punishment has been paid, we ask yet for more retribution. We say the punishment must fit the crime, but instead we turn our children and our brothers and sisters into monsters. When they come to us seeking help, we deny them and claim we no longer know them. Who are we punishing, but ourselves? When the pendulum swings, one day it comes full tilt. When that time comes, will you be ready? Will you be able to pay your dues and see the result of your choices?

Limbo, From My Heart to Yours

leave a comment »

Maybe it isn’t God who separates us, but us who separates us. You still say I, but there is no I in We?

Maybe limbo is not a place of punishment. It is neither here nor there. Maybe it is where we choose to stay until we understand who and where we are. Not all know they are dead? Not all know they can go elsewhere? Maybe that is where limbo is, as much a state of mind as any place? Maybe it is not God who punishes us in this way, but we who punish ourselves in this way. What greater punishment than to separate oneself from the whole, from either lack of caring, love, or selective ignorance. Self-love is a difficult thing for some, especially for those who have not known a love outside of themselves. That may seem a contradictory or paradoxical statement, but it is true. Love is not the unattainable. Love is not the unthinkable. It just is. It is without form. It is without thought and circumstance. It is unconditional.

From God, with love from my heart to yours.