Blog Post # 216 – Crimes and Misdemeanors

One of my favorite movies is Crimes and Misdemeanors, directed by Woody Allen.

Allen plays somewhat of a loser with impure thoughts.

Martin Landau plays a married man who is trying to end an affair with a woman who refuses to let him go (who could live without Martin Landau, right?).

Landau considers whether to have a hit man get rid of the woman.

His are the crimes, Allen’s dabbling in impurity the misdemeanors.

Both characters are connected to the moral center of the film, a man who is losing his eyesight played by Sam Waterston.

I often think of this movie and of our collective “sins.”

Some are crimes. Real crimes.

Most are just misdemeanors. Not so serious, but still an offense.

Allen’s movie, I think, makes the point that there are a whole lot more similarities between those of us committing crimes and those perpetrating misdemeanors.

We like to minimize our own culpability and to maximize the offense of others.

Not much compassion walking around these days.

The women and men sitting in prison are all someone’s son or daughter.

Many are married and a parent to someone.

We like to think that we are oh so very different than criminals.

But I am continually amazed at how we treat each other.

How we talk to each other.

All too often, the things we say are unkind, hurtful and damaging.

Not to mention our actions.

When did we become so angry? So jaded?

This environment of negativity is potent and very, very real.

Makes me sad.

For today, let us end our misdemeanors.

Let us bring peace to this world. Even if it is just in our own little sphere.

Anything else would be criminal.