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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What A Wonderful World It Could Be

I want to preface this post with a statement of gratitude for the men and women who have served, currently serve, and will serve our country. I am grateful for the people who spend their lives in service to a greater cause, who have given their lives to a greater cause and to the families and friends who support them.

On this Veteran’s day I have come to understand that there are realities of our world that I will not understand. Also, I make no claim about understanding the complexities of our present day wars. I do not understand the cost benefit analysis of war time decisions when the cost is human life and the value is measured in barrels of oil or a presumption of preventive measure. The notion of taking someone else’s life, no matter what the circumstances are, is a reality that I do not grasp, from either side of the table.

The day President Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, his first order of business was to discuss strategy around the Afghanistan war. Today, as he give his speech at the Memorial Amphitheatre to salute our veterans, he will meet with his top national security advisers to weigh the options for moving forward in Afghanistan. A juxtaposition or paradox, I can’t decide, but a very somber and real one. While some present the argument that Obama was handed this war, the reality exists that he has the opportunity to end it. The opportunity to lay the framework for the future is in his hands.

Maybe, observance days like this are not for us to understand the morality, cost/benefit, ROI, value of human life is. Maybe today is for us to remember that we do have a life. A life to live for others, in spite of others and because of others. I hope for a world where our leaders don’t have to make that choice, they don’t have to put a value on the life of someone else’s son or daughter. I pray that the choices they make to today don’t do irreparable damage on the course of our history. As evidence by the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, there are turning points in history that can forever alter the course of human events. As a silent war rage under the radar of international press, Karadzic stands trial for war crimes in Bosnia the damages caused will reverberate for generations, families raise their kids in the slums of Nairobi, Caracas, Mumbai, a very real climate crisis exists, I have to believe there are strides being made to create history defining moments for the greater good of humanity. I have to believe to that the course of history is changing for the better.

I left the house with hopeful optimism that today would be better than yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to wave my flag of surrender in life and crawl into a hole like the giant wuss that I am. As I woke up today I thought about the privilege and responsibility I have to the life I have been given, the world I Iive in, the reality that is mine. I know I’m na├»ve. I know I live a very sheltered, protected, privileged life. Most of the people around me do. But the more I intentionally and actively engage with the world, the more I realize that just because I was born in this time and place and condition that I am does not give me the privilege/excuse to exist in ignorance and complacency.

To honor those who serve, understanding that I will likely never be in that position, we have a collective opportunity to lay a framework and foundation for the future. What a bright future it can be if we have to courage to stand up to oppression, kneel in humility and serve in selflessness. What a wonderful world it could be.

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