For years I was plagued by a recurring dream. Passengers on a ship would leisurely stroll along the deck until the burly man in the black leather jacket grabbed the purse of the white-haired lady. She always refused to let go and in the ensuing struggle they would fall overboard. The ship would stop abruptly and the captain, holding a flotation ring in one hand and a thick binder in the other, would push through the crowd. After flipping through pages and pages of rules and regulations, he would throw the life preserver to the man in the leather jacket and the white-haired woman would sink beneath the waves.
After months of therapy, my ‘shrink’ said my dream was an outlet for the repressed anger I felt toward our legal system. She went on and on about ‘revolving doors’, ‘chronic offenders’, ‘catch and release’,’ court backlogs’, ‘plea bargaining’, ‘dropped charges’, ‘insufficient deterrents’, ‘arcane procedures’, ‘criminal entitlements’, ‘victim impact statements’, ‘bureaucratic mismanagement’, ‘vested interests’ and ‘unscrupulous politicians’.
Finally I blurted out, “Someone once said never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.”
Then I added wistfully, “I sure would like to change the legal system.”
“Are you nuts?” my therapist managed to say before laughing uncontrollably. When she regained her composure she snorted, “What you need is a reality check!” and promptly pushed her invoice across the desk.
Wow! Talk about a ‘reality cheque’! The shock therapy of paying her bill cured me. I no longer dare to dream…I simply can’t afford it.