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Departing from life's script - Greg Gelpi

What if we broke from the script, refused to play our part? Would the other actors follow our lead?

Anger instinctively welled up inside me and plotting and scheming kicked in. Stumbling into the kitchen of my more than humble abode recently, I noticed a small draft, looked about and discovered that the window from the kitchen door had been pushed in. The door, which always remains locked, was unlocked. I had been robbed.

Fortunately, little was taken.

If only I could confront the perp, the one who so needed my money that the person resorted to taking in a moment what I worked hours and days for.

With my diminutive stature and passive nature, I pictured the words, the actions I would take facing off with the person. Threats, promises and intimidation would spew from my mouth in hopes of, if nothing else, scaring the person from turning someone else into a victim.

But, on the other hand, what if I did the opposite? Social programming, television programming and evolutionary programming prompt us to act out and act against those who wrong us, but what if we didn't?

What if instead I offered to give what the thief had stolen and went further to ask what else the person needs?

Could such a gesture cap the criminal activity or would the criminal behavior continue?

We might just be surprised whom we see within the pearly gates, the priest said during his Sunday homily, reflecting on the parable of the prodigal son.

Falling on the same weekend as the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 that devastated this country and rippled throughout the world, the priest took the concept of forgiveness even further.

Let me preface the following by stating that I'm not necessarily endorsing this, but simply tossing it into the arena for thought.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks, rather than bowing up to the enemy and attacking back, what would have happened if we invited the enemy to the table?

Even in my little idealistic world I sincerely doubt Osama would crawl out of his hole, ask for forgiveness and we'd all live happily ever after.

The crook who broke into my apartment would, I presume, be happy to accept the gift of a few bucks, talk about how to get out of the world of crime and go away.

Terrorists have never made specific demands, never asked for talks or issued ultimatums. If offered the chance, if President Bush would have asked for them to come forward to discuss their gripes with this country, likely, they would have scoffed at the idea and continued their jihad against what they deem to be the "infidels."

Despite this, forgiveness must be extended, lest feelings be harbored for ages upon ages. Just flip on the news and watch Israel and Palestine.

Retribution must be interwoven with some sort of healing, and military offensives must work hand-in-hand with non-military offensives.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.