Disclaimer: The reader should note that none of the names of the characters, situations, events or circumstances have been changed to protect the innocent. Although the names were fictionalized, they were intended to represent the corresponding characters comprising the basis for this story. All are liable to legal action should sufficient evidence be found to prosecute same.
I was half-asleep and half-awake ~ otherwise known as daydreaming ~ and I had the most spectacular vision of a wake and funeral. The deceased’s name was Morality who was neither male nor female but yet somehow identifiable as both. Jamie Morality’s attire was simple yet elegant which bespoke the long hard life that was led prior to its great demise. Morality was concerned with the principle and rules of right conduct and the distinction between right and wrong. Although Morality stood for the highest of Jeanine Principles, who also attended the wake, there were interfering factors that tended to besmudge its reputation.
Over the years something had happened to Frank Virtue’s fine record of stability. He stood for moral excellence, goodness and righteousness in the conformity of people’s life and conduct according to certain Moral and Ethical Principles. Just then, Samuel Ethics walked into the room to pay his respects to the deceased. He appeared worn and haggard with loose-fitting clothing that clearly gave the impression that he was not doing as well as he once had. In his place there was Jonathan Progressive whose snide smile made everyone believe that his presence was for the greater good whereas it was really a fake set of standards that made it appear that way. Horace Platitude was there who was also a sworn enemy of Frank Virtue’s solid standards since he would usually regurgitate some flat, dull or trite remark which would be taken as “gospel” by those who needed more relaxed standards than what Frank stood for ~ essentially a Regression. As obvious as all of this was, it was as if everyone were deaf, dumb and blind to what was really going on. It was just easier that way.
These Ethical Standards used to be distinctive and fundamental Principles that offered a clear ruling opinion on matters of right and wrong. However, somewhere along the line, they became confused and watered-down in the process of serving mankind. People tended to belittle them in deference to their substituting their own set of a more relaxed version of Rules and Regulations which, of course, changed the whole Value System. Everyone seemed to just want a more relaxed lifestyle that would befit modern society. Jonathan Law came into the room with a forlorn look of resignation that his old and dear friend had passed. Mr. Law embodied the formal rules that have a tendency to vary over time as a result of the judgments of political entities that had the authority and power to punish violators. His role had been changed so many times in a watered-down fashion that he really didn’t know who he was anymore. Some say that he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Joe Mores slowly approached the casket. He, too, appeared roughed up and tired. He had always stood as a beacon of what were considered as being the Folkways that were of central importance that were accepted without question by the public embodying the fundamental Moral views of specific groups. He stood for things like premarital sex, child molestation and things that are looked down upon in our Culture like incest, rape and murder. These were once examples of Aberrant Behavior that now seemed less important than finding ways to circumvent those standards. rather than their being standards that stood alone and recognized by everyone, they often appeared to be wandering, divergent and very unusual by comparison to times gone by.
Francisco Sanctions came through the door appearing with a forced smile to those who acknowledged his presence. Mr. Sanctions had the very real and difficult role of rewarding good behavior and penalizing bad or inappropriate behavior. However, things had become so inconsistent in the world that he didn’t really know anymore whether he was coming or going. He knew that people who were capable of hiring a smart attorney through their personal riches could receive a much lighter sentence or even get off with a warning in court for a major crime which they indeed committed. This was both confusing and debilitating for him to experience since he once stood for a clear implementation of justice.
Margaret Vigilant entered. As always, she was very much aware of what was going on both in and behind the scene of whatever she encountered and could see the frustration of many of the mourners as they gathered in small groups to discuss their problems and issues. she was followed by Christine Promise who prided herself on maintaining her declaration of what would or would not be done, given or accomplished though she, too, appeared befuddled by those who actions belied their words.
All of a sudden a rather large group of so-called mourners with surnames like Failure, Deviance, Crime, Social Inequality, Illegal Abortion, Poverty, Bigot, Status Symbol, Aging, Capitalism, Sexuality, Conflict. The Economy, Race Segregation, Social Class and Speculative Theory walked into the room where the deceased lie in state. Instead of bemoaning their loss, they stood as a group and sneered at the deceased whom they had wished dead long before his untimely demise. Their objective was to rule and Morality had always stood in the way of their success. Now, they thought, they would have free rein to accomplish their goal. The other people in the room watched quietly at first but then began to murmur amongst themselves as to the inappropriateness of this group even showing up for the wake. The group overheard their objections and chose to cut their visitation time short leading the others to believe that they got a clear and decisive message.
The funeral was a simple gesture of longing and faith that Jamie Morality’s Principles would not be buried with him. There was not a great deal of fanfare. The pallbearers were Work Ethic, Perseverance, Simplicity, Temperance, Honesty and Problem-Solving. The church was filled to capacity with many politicians who feigned their sadness for the cameras. However, there were also a number of families with children who had upheld Mr. Morality’s teachings and who would continue to do so. Many of the elder generation were present as well with their memory of how good things used to be and with the hope that they would return for the sake of their children and grandchildren. Younger participants mainly sat in awe of the goings-on but manifested a good deal of interest in the hope of the future that most of the eulogy speakers referred to. The words that were spoken in eulogy were short and clear messages to all who may have doubted that the
(29 January 2013)
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.