By Lee Sullivan
Random Writers Week 8 Topic: With a miliary theme in mind, what is one change you would like to see in the world?
I go to great lengths to keep my blog as politically neutral as I can and still be true to my authentic feelings. I don’t like political discussions and just the thought of getting in the middle of one makes me queasy. I watch Gil get in heated back and forth exchanges on Facebook and on his blog and I always give him the look. You know the look, right? That “Why can’t you just let it go?” or the “We’re going to lose friends over this, aren’t we?” look. If you ask me how I feel about a specific topic, I’ll probably hem and haw and pretend to forget the question and then start rambling about my latest CD purchase or an unfinished craft project. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion; it just means I don’t want to share it an ultimately have to defend it.
Well, this week’s Random Writers topic is forcing me to open up a can of worms that I never thought I would open, and it’s going to leave me totally wide open to criticism and backlash that I know I’ll probably regret. However, this blog is about me being honest with who I am and how I feel. So, here it goes.
In keeping with our Veteran’s Day theme, the one change I would like to see in the world is that the need for our military ARMED forces would simply vanish. I hate this war we’ve been fighting for a decade. I hated the war before that. I hate reading about wars in faraway lands, and I hate hearing about the wars our grandfathers fought.
Ok, there’s that. Now, I hope you’ll give me a chance to explain. First and foremost, I have more respect for the 18 year old Grunt than I do for any member of Congress or the Senate. I think those that volunteer for military service are the bravest men and women out there, and I am grateful every day for their service. I will support our solders, airmen, seamen, etc. as long as the sun rises and the sun sets. I’m in awe of their fortitude, perseverance, dedication and sacrifices. I could not do what they do, and I recognize I don’t have to because of their service to our country. But my feelings boil down to this:
I hate violence. I hate the idea of the physical and mental torture these men and women are asked to endure. I do not believe that what we are doing is for the greater good of us as Americans. I’m tired of reading about soldiers dying and funerals and families ripped apart for nothing. What are we gaining by these deaths? And even worse, what about those that come home alive but are dying on the inside? The psychological effects of war on young women and men whose brains aren’t even fully developed yet are making the surviving warriors wish to join their fallen comrades. Teenagers are coming home from some God-awful place without arms and legs and ears and eyes, and I’m just sick of it. I don’t want to see another war-ravaged soul have to explain why they have no ears or nose or fingers because they were burned off in some attack half-way around the globe. I want them to come home, and I want them to never have to go back. Ever.
I recently read the Tao Te Ching, which literally means the way, strength/virtue and scripture. Even though this book was written over 2,500 years ago, its message is just a relevant today, as evidenced by the passage below.
“Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao, counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe. For this would only cause resistance. Thorn bushes spring up whenever the army has passed. Lean years follow in the wake of a great war. Just do what needs to be done. Never take advantage of power.
Achieve results, but never glory in them.
Achieve results, but never boast.
Achieve results, but never be proud.
Achieve results, because this is the natural way.
Achieve results, but not through violence.
Force is followed by loss of strength. This is not the way of the Tao. That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end.”
I imagine a world where our militias are providing aid to those in need, rather than waging war on a battlefield. I imagine a world where those who are tearing down tyrannical regimes, could someday build bridges of hope instead. I imagine a world where the only war we fight is against the hungry, the sick and the poor. I imagine a world where no parent, sister, brother, son, daughter, cousin, friend, coworker, grandparent, aunt, or uncle will ever be told their loved one died in battle. I imagine a world in which peace, love and compassion for our fellow man is enough.
I imagine a world in which the bravest men and women of our country are no longer dying for it, but truly living in it.