Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Crime and Punishment

Often it seems like bad people can get away with anything. Being ruthless and having a heart of stone are signs of a successful person, a leader. They are also trademarks of criminals. But if you look at life from a different perspective, as if it was a history book, you'll see that in most cases there is a judgment day for these utterly selfish and cold-blooded people.

He may be up there in years and have one foot in the grave, but Chile's general Pinochet is finally coming face to face with his past. Hitler ended up committing suicide with his mistress. Chairman Mao may have ruled to the end but the real evil force in his shadow, his wife, was made to pay for her cruelty. Although at one time he was a great friend of many members of our government, Saddam Hussein is going through his trial, as a result of becoming an enemy to the United States. If you believe like most of Americans seem to these days, that we were brainwashed and misled to go and occupy Iraq, there is some satisfaction in knowing that people are finally seeing the truth,
at least a partial one. After this all is history, those warmongers responsible for this bloodshed will have to always watch their backs. I don't think they would feel at ease traveling abroad as there are plenty of people willing to do anything to pay them back. Everything comes at a price.

All this is true for the common man as well, not just world leaders and such. There are plenty of us who think they are untouchables, for whatever reason. Some are able to operate above the law, or at least above common decency, for a long time, but finally the handwriting on the wall becomes too visible to hide. We live in a democracy, even if it seems questionable at times, and in such a system everyone has a right to his or her opinions and beliefs. Decades may go by, but if one is patient he/she will see justice done. Unfortunately, exceptions will always remain and innocent ones get punished instead of the guilty ones, but in this age of information and the internet, truth is harder to hide. People don't automatically think that just because they read it in the paper, it must be true and correct, no questions asked.

Just recently I had the pleasure of playing three concerts as soloist of an orchestra which doesn't pretend to be one of the best in the world, but which took me by surprise by how good they sounded. What made the difference was the attitude of the musicians. They clearly loved what they were doing and there was genuine joy in the music making. There were no phony smiles in the group, meant to impress the audience. These faces expressed true pleasure - what an enviable situation.

Today's 'oddly enough' section in Reuter's news has an item titled
'Longer needles needed for fatter buttocks.' It has become a strange world indeed. Interestingly, where I spent almost a week, the population was far trimmer and in better shape than one would have expected. Active people equals active bodies and active minds.