Why I’m not sorry

Harry Drabik


In my high school days I grew aware of being a Ranger. In Zenith City terms, being a Ranger or Superiorite, etc. meant lower-order. The lines were drawn and felt, even when not flaunted. But, we crude miner types had nothing to apologize for, especially not for taking things head-on.  

Not that my experience is universal, but I’ll elaborate. Say, which has happened more’n once, a sweet, well-intentioned person speaks in my ear to gain my attention. OK, whisper in my ear or scratch the palm of my hand and (frankly) I’m ready to undress and get busy. However (too often and sadly I thought at the time) the sweet whisperer intended to deliver an improving message about something the selfless one believed I needed to work on for my own good.  

Well, thank you. But almost invariably my response to prompting that I needed to work on something was a decided (sometimes regretful depending on how quickly I’d disrobed) “No I don’t!” This also meant “No I won’t.”

I’m not talking about someone cautioning me about speeding or other dangerous behavior. I mean when another says I need to work on my being. Why? Because it bothers them. But if it doesn’t bother me why change it? So, NO, I’m not going to do it, not going to cast aside part of who/what I am and how I work.   The usual result (one well known by my mid-teens) was rocket-inspired rejection. Say NO to one who wants to fix you and there’s hell to pay, more that “put your clothes on and get out” hell.

It is unsettling for both parties: the one who wanted to do-good for another and for the one asking “What did I do?” What I try to express is a view that there are two basic types in life: the Zenith and the (plus others) Rangers (maybe I’ll say Free Rangers). There’s a basic clash between the zenith of enlightenment angels and the leave-me-alone-I’m-working miners. In one of those groups, I firmly say “I’m not broken. Don’t try to fix me.” I’ll handle my life as best I can. But and Butt out.  

Gads but angels of the zenith hate that, and boy can they explode with revulsion at my slovenly disregard of heavenly advice and etc. By late teens I realized the angel’s anger was about failing to control more than fix me. They wanted an improved model, fattened up and calmed down, to parade like a two-legged dog that responded to beck and call in hope of ears scratched or tummy rubbed. Clever angelic fixers get a lot of mileage with tummy tickle come-ons. Yes they do.

But for the ultimate change. No. I’m not going there because I don’t need or want that. Remember what Popeye says? I say it too.  

Being that Ranger lad who felt the everlasting schism and being conveniently Ranger-dumb (fox-stupid) I’m using the zenith and miner types to stand for a lot of what we deal with all the time. Try to escape or avoid it. No good. It’s in all portions of society, politics, religion, education. One mindset chugs along (some say blindly).

The other mindset sees work to do in setting right the chuggers. The do-good mindset (curse them) means well as they trample eagerly and endlessly on the being of others who surely need their helping fix. The fixers will denounce other failed fixes for wearing robes, offering chants, requiring sacrifice and seeking alms (money) while they do slight-vamped versions of the same with dyed-stamped Ts, repeated refrains and calls for the plodding chuggers to get in line and sacrifice some of whatever it is the fixers see should be given up for the cause, for the sake of humanity they humbly represent.  

Multiple millennia of well-intended fixers have made dents but no fixes. Generations of seers, leaders, prophets, archbishops and party-approved politicos have all shown to be annoying and ineffective. I think (honestly and sadly) the zenith mind doesn’t grasp the chugger world, and vise versa. The schism is well known and often tended to. Philosophers use volumes of pages and multiple degrees to opine on the topic kings have attempted to rule, dictators control and reformers to amend, amen. What you think or eat, how you contemplate or relax, where you live and work have all been targets of the fix.

In the English-speaking world it is popular to see things in the English spoken (narrow that would be) frame. This is handy for the English-speaking fixer-mind because (surprise-surprise) doing so gives convenient handles to power. The fix will always, it seems, confer authority to fixers to bully (emotionally much of the time) the steady, productive plodder. All will be well if you do this or that, drive this car or don’t drive at all, work this way or write code for a living.

You’ve heard many a version including deciding your gender after time to think and consult later in life, sometime. In case the lives-depend-on-it proponents haven’t noticed, that procedure is superabundant with bullying bludgeons to comply with whoever is playing gender savior.  

So, in Ranger-simple form this is why I use the no-thanks skeptical response to attempts at fixing. I’m OK with me. If something bothers you I think that’s on you, because frankly I doubt there’s any power I hold that can make others long term happy-better. They can only do that for themselves same as they’ll never fix me to either of our satisfactions.  

Being savvy, Reader readers know my method has holes, as do all systems, like a sieve. This limits, good thing to bear in mind, usefulness. All visions or explanations falter in much the same way, as seen in a split wide as that of monarchists and Marxists. Needing to explain failures a monarch pointed at lazy peasants. Marxists blamed counterrevolutionaries.

Likewise, to reward the loyal there wasn’t enough spare land for monarchists to hand out or nice apartments available to Marxists. Giving a title meant little without an estate same as too many Heroes of the Soviet cheapened the honor. No matter how its cut or described, the complexities of life are struggle, challenge and reward.