10:00 a.m. - Monday, Oct. 25, 2004
Last night I watched Boston Legal, a show about legal cases and lawyers where almost all of the lawyers at this firm have some sort of mental problem if not severe mental illness. My interest was heightened since I have a degree in that area and through accident, my father was thoroughly mentally incapcitated almost all his adult life.Yes, I'm aware it is 'just a show'.
A few things came to mind as I watched and again brought new awareness to ... just how far in life one can go if focused and living their strengths....though their weaknesses be many and varied. How wonderful in some aspects, how frightening in others.
One lawyer, the protagonist of the night is exceptional at winning, at any cost, no matter how demeaning or what chaos, harm, it might do emotionally or otherwise to other human beings. He knows what the company wants and serves it, as well as perhaps serving himself in what he does best with his intelligence, or what he has thus far found serves him best. Extortion, humiliation, threats, lies are only some of his negative tools. The company calls him on his behaviour after he wins the case and talks about company integrity. He sees through it saying they are transparent. It is verified when they say 'thanks' as he is leaving the room.
It's about winning at all costs. Justice, integrity within or without, character, personality even...the cut of our time...factor in way down the list if at all but the amazing thing is lack of feeling on his part, lack of remorse, lack of caring for one he definitely harmed. There is this amazing vacuum of what makes us most human, socialized...a lack of compassion,
Yet in the show, it is put together in such a way that this person is a positive force, likeable, perhaps a model, certainly rewarded, rather than the complicated enigma that perhaps only a smaller percentage of people can fathom. Balanced he is not. I found myself thinking all these thoughts all the while drawn in to his personality so unlike most people that I know. I think what drew me is not the obvious. Two main things stand out, one being that he had tremendous focus and confidence. There was not any wavering at all, a quality that can be positive, it's opposite or every colour in between. Second, he had no guile in him at all. He was unlike the company man who berated him with comments about integrity all the while pleased that he had won the case, meaning money for the firm. No, the protagonist did not pretend. He was who he was. I don't particularly like his behavior but I did like the honesty of not veiling it as something other.
The woman lawyer who played opposite him and equally multidimensional felt remorse, sensed the humanity of the person wronged and reacted. Somehow this particular trait is much more in line with my own and definitely more desireable in people I interact with, yet, there was a part of me that put her down ever so slightly. I can hardly admit it, now there is something to think about. Was this my own dislike of times I cave in to others when I could serve myself better but feeling their pain, I cannot. I both like and dislike this in myself and the trait is a positive one, yet, I felt a measure of both like and dislike while the focused, company minded, win at all costs lawyer stood like a shining star...at the moment......until reflected upon.
I'm hooked on the show now and will watch whenever there is a chance and I have a choice. It's another one of those times when watching others, I learn and relearn about myself.
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