He was jiggling his leg like crazy, he was. Up and down, up and down, and the result of his mindless entertainment was that my seat-back tray was bouncing around like a dog in the back of a pickup truck coming home from church on a dirt road. It was one of those commuter flights between some big town and a smaller one not yet large enough to warrant a real plane. For this reason space was at even more of a premium than usual, and in such tight quarters leg jiggling was extra annoying.
"Er, uh, excuse me, sir. Could you please refrain from shaking the entire plane with your habitual childish habits? I am afraid the rivets on the wings are going to work themselves loose."
It was these types of phrases I rehearsed in my mind while pretending to myself that I was reading my book. There were more polite ways to say it, of course, but there were also some funnier ones, too. However, out of respect for his personal freedom to be a goof-ball, and my suspicion that I was a tad bit on the irritable side and just might be on the verge of losing my Christian testimony, I kept quiet (until now. Oh, the power of blogging)!
It was not until later, in the shower, of course, when I had a thought (they don't come often, but when they do, it's worth writing about). It occurred to me that, just as with me and that man on the plane, we humans have an innate desire to control the behavior of others. I arrived at this not-so-profound insight by starting with the innocent little question:
"How can any idiot think that a bigger government is good?"
Then I remembered that jiggly leg fellow. Here I was wanting to control HIS behavior. Maybe, just maybe, all these people clamoring for "a law for this" and "a bureau for that" aren't really proponents of bigger government, per se, but rather they just want to control the behavior of others.
I really think that's it.
Control the behavior of someone else?
What kind of monster would aspire to such arrogance, such haughty holier-than-though (or should I say atheister-than-thou?) demagoguery? And exactly WHICH behavior should be controlled? To what standard? And how? And who says?
See how this gets so sticky so fast?
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. The very blokes who want to do all this controlling of the rest of us (what we drive, what we buy, what we say, who we get for our doctor, how we can or cannot defend ourselves against people nobody can control, etc., etc.) also conveniently don't believe in any moral absolutes. Nope. They make it up as they go!
So there you have it.
A bunch of control freaks want to MAKE you behave according to THEIR arbitrary value system. And, by the way, they don't allow themselves to be held to any higher standard beyond themselves, because they have convinced themselves, conveniently, that there is no God.
So you see? They become the highest authority and dare to command you according to their own self-made set of principles. Comforting, isn't it?
By instinct, I guess, being a freedom-loving liberty defender and all, I allowed Mr.Leg Jiggler to have his jollies. But, I must admit, when he stopped jiggling and started swaying them back and forth, back and forth, opening and closing them incessantly, I almost reached the limit.
And then there was the whole, "What would Jesus do?" thing, and that really stopped me in my tracks. Yup. He'd have walked.
So I think the moral of the story is thus: It's better to suffer a few leg jigglers along the way than to lose our personal freedom to be just as annoying to someone else.
And to those of you out there whom I have ever similarly and unknowingly annoyed, I have this to say: "Hey, it's still a free country!"