While channel surfing the other night (AT&T digital broadband) we stumbled upon The Crow: City of Angels and, despite the fact that both Sarah and myself were completely underwhelmed by the first movie, we watched for a few minutes before moving on to something more worthwhile.
Those few minutes have remained in my memory, however, due to a line uttered by the undead anti-hero of the film. As he wreaks his vengeance upon some lowly murderous thug, The Crow, in response to the thug's plea that he was only following orders and had no choice but to commit murder, makes the following pained observation as he dispatches the creep to the great beyond:
"You always have a choice."
This line has stuck in my head because it echoes a truth that revealed itself to me in the not too distant past.
Each of us, indeed, has a choice. Boiled down to its essence, this choice is between Good and Evil. These terms might seem a bit dramatic for most of us but I hold that they are appropriate, and that this choice is one made daily. Yes, that's right. . . we are dealing with choices of Good and Evil on a daily basis.
Consider, please, these twin verses from The Dhammapada as translated by Juan Mascaro:
Hold not a sin of little worth, thinking "This is little to me." The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so the foolish man becomes full of evil, although he gather it little by little.
Hold not a deed of little worth, thinking "This is little to me." The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so the wise man becomes full of good, although he gather it little by little.
We have the option of acting and interacting everyday in ways that are positive, constructive and beneficial to ourselves, the people around us and the world in general - whether it be something simple as helping a blind man cross the street (assuming he needs or desires help) or complex as disobeying rules you know to be wrong - or not.
I think this is what The Crow was trying to tell the poor sap who crossed him. Of course, he might have followed the path of his own logic and refrained from compounding violence with violence by murdering the murderer. But The Crow as a non-violent pacifist would be another movie. . .