Friday, September 4, 2009

Introduction of the Lawyer

The Lawyer Viewpoint:

My professional life is remarkably uninteresting. There are no smoking guns or “Perry Mason” moments where the witness cracks, bursts into tears and spills the truth, turning the tide towards victory and acquittal. I am a creditor’s lawyer.

Sometimes my wrists, eyes and back start to hurt after preparing the fourth foreclosure complaint in one day. Frequently I suffer from the acute pain, which results from paper cuts. Often I am visited by a specter worse than death. It makes its presence known by a sudden drop in temperature, a subtle darkening, that occasions a knotting of the intestines. And there it is at my office door, looking like a depressed Mel Blanc, dark course rings under its eyes; an evil minion of the underworld—Boredom.

As an INFP I am rarely afforded the opportunity to put my favorite capacity to use as a lawyer, which is to throw all the details to the devil, relax and float down stream, and just write what comes to mind. Facts are important, but not as important as a good thought, with universal implications, put into a well-crafted sentence, by God. Here, at least, I can give it a go, and let the right hemisphere of my brain hum and glow, and be free and involved at once. Ahhhhh. There’s nothing boring about that the way I see it. After all, stodgy facts and a mulish insistence on accuracy and precision are for geeky engineers to ham out, which is easy for them, having long ago strangled and drowned their inner child with things like the law of entropy.

What makes my heart beat, and fills my lungs with wind, is the study of the evolving mind and discerning how it meets the challenge of formulating values. Those values are no where more apparent in expression than in the arena of the political. Why does one person scream with fear and outrage over the slightest possibility that a thing might show a trace of being “liberal,” or worse, “socialist”? On the other hand, why would it be so damned important to another person that the rights of a raccoon be elevated to that of a human’s?

Minds and their values come, most commonly, in the following shapes: Rednecks, of which Oklahoma is disproportionately plagued, whose answer to life’s most perplexing questions is to pulverize and cuss into submission anything perceived as a threat; Defenders of the Faith, who cherish the tried and true ways of old, for whom change is synonymous with the devil; The Go-getters, for whom any impediment to the obtaining of material well-being is the ultimate evil; and The Tree-huggers, who shun the thought that we might not all be equal to the challenges of life, and for whom a good ol’ handshake should never take the place of a warm, lingering hug.

One might be tempted to nominate The Tree-huggers as the “liberals” of the human milieu I described, but not so. The word “liberal” has many definitions ( and is the indispensable sibling of “conservative.” When faced with challenges against which the old way of doing things are ineffectual, it’s time to open the mind to the possibility of a new way, which anyone is capable of doing, if they aren’t scared mindless at the prospect. A liberal attitude, whose exploration is the uncharted, is executed with courage and daring, without which humankind could never be expected to evolve, but would suffocate in the over-homogenization of entropy. If you believe in God, evolution is God’s prime directive.

Be you a Redneck, a Defender of the Faith, a Go-getter, or a Tree-hugger, or even a musty smelling engineer, any act that is a new approach to a persistent problem is a liberal act. When the tested way of doing things is the best approach, that is a conservative act. But being repeatedly met with disappointment, while insisting on doing things the same way again and again, with the same results, that’s freaking nuts and degenerate.


  1. Conservatism is deeply rooted in craven, abject fear. Fear of "Them". Fear that the hard-worked for earnings will be stolen, or taxed away and given to people who may not have worked as hard (and therefore do not deserve) them. Fear to try something new, because old ways are tried and true and what they know. Fear that new ways mean they'll have to open their minds a little to new learning in order to adapt. Fear of the different "other" races, cultures, countries, religions- and sciences that they don't understand and don't want to understand.

    How easy it is to just say no, sit back and do nothing because it is easier, to limit free thought and exploration and questioning by impertinent youth. How much easier it is to be a conservative!

  2. Lawyer: That's it, scared people making poorly informed decision susceptible to believing lies and misjudging the source. How do you make a person to quit being scared senseless? "Quit being scared, damn you, or I'll beat the living dog-snot out of you?!"