If You Don’t Behave Yourself, The Lawyer Will Punish You!
“God is going to punish you!” How many of us have heard these words when we were children? Engaging in mortal or venial sin, violating any of the Ten Commandments, neglecting our chores, and talking back to our parents were surefire ways to enrage an intolerant god who would punish us by causing us to fall down and receive little boo boos on our knees or fingers. All we have to do is say our prayers before bedtime, mommy kisses our boo boo, and we are forgiven. How good we had it as children.
We learn to accept the consequences for our actions when we become teenagers. This is when our hormones begin to awaken, and we begin to look for opportunities to sneak the occasional feel. We get a little braver, and we are more willing to take the risks associated with some light shoplifting, or smoking in the restroom at school. We may get chastised, arrested, sent to juvenile court, to counselors, priests, the dean, or be grounded by our parents for a week or two. We can get away with quite a bit without too harsh of a punishment.
Once we become adults, get married and have careers, our punishments become more severe and we can’t get away with anything. We begin to think differently about consequences and the terminology changes. God becomes Karma, boo boos become penalties, and forgetting to mow the lawn or improperly disposing of our garbage can result in fines from the Public Works Department.
Insolence towards our superiors results in termination from our jobs, and simple flirting can bring sexual harassment charges against us. Theft, no matter how petty, can land us in jail with career criminals, and smoking anything jeopardizes our health, our careers, and our love lives. Little asides become gross insults, money misspent results in accusations of grave financial irresponsibility, or worse, embezzlement; all the prayers in the world will not save us from the lawyers.
When we divorce our spouses, we fear the lawyers. When we become old and ill, we place our faith in the doctors. The lawyers and the doctors have replaced God, mommy, and the kiss on the boo boo.
When we are on our deathbeds or gurneys, God comes back into the picture. Our parents are probably long deceased by now. So are the counselor, the dean, the cop, the spouse, and the boss. We don’t care about the Public Works Department anymore, and flirting stopped when erectile dysfunction set in. Yep! It is just you, the doctor, the priest, God and…the lawyer.