Too many people in this world get pleasure out of creating hell for other people.
I’ve practiced family law for over 20 years, so maybe I get a worse view of it than everyone else. All the grabbing, snatching, whining and private torture using the kids/dog/grandma’s china really wear on me. It’s so unnecessary.
An advocate for negotiation and reason in family law matters, I’ve even had a book published on the subject. (See 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce: A No-Nonsense Guide to the Challenges at Hand, Impact Publishers, available on B&N and Amazon). The advice in this book (as I had to EXPLAIN to people who bought it and then complained it didn’t tell them how to steal everything and screw over the other party) is meant to help people get through it with their sanity intact.
What does that mean, exactly?
Mostly it means that you should respect the worth and human dignity of every person, particularly if they are a co-parent with you. Sure, you could make their lives hell, if you choose. You could deny visits, listen in on private calls, tell the children what a rat their other parent is and encourage them to act out, cause scenes at kids’ activities to embarrass the other parent.
Maybe the other parent deserves it. Sometimes they do. That’s why you’re not together any more. But your children don’t.
See, my philosophy is, at the time you chose to create this child (and yes, that even applies to one-night stands, because it was still your choice), you found this other person to be worthy. So you lost your right to complain. You’re stuck with them. Through the chickenpox and the baby teeth and the First Communion and the driver’s ed lessons and the graduation and the wedding and the grandchildren– you are the two parents of the child. You don’t have to be best buddies. Just be polite. Even when it hurts. Your child wins. That should be more important than whether you do.
Then– if it’s true you can be polite to intimates, should it be more difficult to be polite to strangers? I know a community of people who simply want to be left alone. They don’t trouble anyone. They don’t ask for anything from anyone on the outside. They just want to live their daily, productive lives, take care of their families and children and practice their religion as they choose.
But agitators insist on making trouble for them. These agitators have harassed the quiet community, disrupted their worship, their quiet practices. The harassment has continued despite criminal charges and more. It has continued for months, years now. And for no better reason than to cause hell.
This story continues in this small community, and also in others where a black family moves in, or a gay couple, or a family with children who have special issues. It happens on the national and international stage as well. People just want to be left alone. But often someone else cannot resist the temptation to cause them pain.