Burn, Baby, Burn

December 8, 2011

What would it be like to watch your home burning down to the ground and you escaping with just the clothes on your back while a team of firefighters stand around refusing to put out the fire, and seeing their fire trucks sitting in the distance doing nothing to help?

Unbelievably, this is what happened to a couple who hadn’t paid a $75.00 annual subscription fee to their fire department.  In the underworld, this is known as a protection fee.  If you pay it, your business can live to see another day.  If you don’t pay it, don’t count on the survival of your business.

Into this mix, is the mayor of that town who, in his infinite wisdom and humanity said, “If they don’t collect fire fees, the fire department can’t survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.”

When I read that news item, I was not only shocked, I was furious.  That people could be so cold-hearted and emotionally stunted, is beyond my imagination.  The mayor is an elected official and, presumably, he and the firefighters have to take some kind of oath to protect the citizens to the best of their ability.

I looked up the word firefighter in two dictionaries just to see how they defined the word.  Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary gives as its definition, “one who fights fires, especially for a living” and Cambridge Dictionaries Online says, “someone whose job is to stop fires and to save people and property from being harmed.”

Obviously, these firefighters don’t know the meaning of the word firefighter or they wouldn’t have deliberately destroyed someone’s home, regardless of the reason.  Their actions had as much criminal intent as those of an arsonist.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  What goes up, must come down.  In our daily lives we experience it in terms of reaping what we sow.  It has a boomerang effect in that our every word, thought and deed comes back to us.  To put it another way, this universal law is known as the law of karma.

We may not fulfill the retributive karma right away or even with the same people, but we will fulfill it at some point.  And it always comes back measure for measure.

The other day this couple lost their home due to the callous treatment by the team of firefighters and the mayor.  The law of karma may take years for it to be experienced by every member of that team but they will all experience it at some point, no matter how long it takes.

If it happens many years from now, these people may not see the connection, but if it happens soon, most of those people may see the light.

Visualize this scenario: a huge fire breaks out in that city and every firefighter is sent to cover it.  The mayor rushes to the scene for an op ed opportunity to get his name in the newspapers and interviewed on television.  Meanwhile, there is a fire at the mayor’s house and no one in the neighborhood is around to report it.  While he is getting his picture in the papers, his house burns down.  Add to that, he has forgotten to pay the premium on his homeowner’s policy and they drop him.  Now he has no insurance, no home, no clothing, and no valuables.

It is just a couple of weeks till Christmas and this couple whose house was left to burn down to the ground won’t have much to celebrate this year.  They got out of the house alive, but they have nowhere to live, nothing to eat, and no clothing to survive the winter weather.

If the law of karma were put into play now, the spirit of Christmas would burn as intensely bright for the mayor and his firefighters as it will be for the couple whose home they intentionally destroyed by their refusal to save it.  And every bite of their Christmas dinner would taste like the ashes of destruction they deliberately caused these people who didn’t bow down to their demand of a $75.00 protection fee.

Just when we thought that protection fees were only associated with underworld crime, we find out that elected officials and people who are put into a position of trust, are just as capable of violence and a lack of humanity as the mob bosses and their henchmen.

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