Saturday, June 11, 2011

Living on The Edge

Livin' On the Edge
You can't help yourself from fallin'
Livin' On the Edge
You can't help yourself at all

Congressman Anthony Weiner now takes his place in the line up of Dumb and Dumber public figures. I never liked the guy or his politics, but I sort of feel sorry for him. Not as sorry as I feel for his pregnant wife, the rest of her family, his family, all of their friends and his constituents.

But back to Weiner, the man. Why feel sorry for him? If you’ve ever been drawn to the dark side, if you’ve ever tasted the forbidden fruit, if you’ve ever been to “The Edge”; then you know why I feel sorry for him. Maybe you got caught, maybe not. But he definitely got caught and in front of the whole wide world. I’ve never tweeted my weiner or weinered my tweet; but I’ve done things for which I am very ashamed. Why did I do them? In some cases, I rationalized that my behavior really wasn’t all that bad. At other times, I knew it was bad but did it anyway. As the Aerosmith song says “You can’t help yourself from fallin” …. “You can’t help yourself at all”.

The Apostle Paul says essentially the same thing in his letter to the Romans:
Ch 7, Verse 19 - “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Paul goes on to talk about deliverance and salvation, but I remain haunted by his words…”the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing”. The battle is real. All religions speak to this issue, the struggle between Good and Evil, the Light and the Darkness.

So what are we to make of all this? For every politician or celebrity who publicly falls over “The Edge”, there are thousands of everyday Joes and Janes who do likewise. In some cases the results are badly damaged relationships that ultimately heal but never fully recover. In others, the results are broken families and children who grow up living on “The Edge”. Living on “The Edge” can lead to disease, crippling injury, imprisonment and death. And no one lives on “The Edge” alone, even though they may die there alone. Actions have consequences and there is always collateral damage.

The answer is painfully simple, but too many of us never learn it or learn it too late. Stay away from “The Edge”. “The Edge” is where you hear the Sirens’ songs, you think all things are possible and you feel invincible. “The Edge” is where lies become truth, it's always someone else's fault, you deserve to be happy and there are no absolutes. “The Edge” is where you ultimately get permission to launch and the final invitation to fall. Stay away from the “The Edge”. Just ask Anthony Weiner.

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