Sunday, September 24, 2017

Grateful

I just finished watching "Black Hawk Down" for maybe the tenth time. I had an army recruiter in my dining room in the fall of 2003 and I am thankful that I did not enlist because surely I would have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. First of all, thank you to the veterans that have served so that we have a country where it is possible to voice descent. Second, I do not understand why you do it, why you go into harms way. Even as a teenager I realized that the danger of bullets and bombs was significant. That was ultimately why I did not enlist. If weather or conditions are bad in the mountains, we take a rest day, I've had dozens, but in a war, you have to go when it is time to go, regardless of the danger. Third, my appreciation deepens every time when a mountaineering person dies. Ueli Steck dying was a big deal for me, he was the best Alpinist in the world. If you take the risks, even 0.1% long enough, say 1000 days, the odds catch up with you.

When I was young and watched Kelly's Heroes and Midway war seemed exciting. Now that I am older, I cry. It's heartbreaking. Why do we do this? What is the point? The current drama with North Korea, can't we sit down with them, China, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and talk about what we want, and dare I say, our fears? I realize world peace will probably never happen, but I see movies like "Arrival" and I want it to happen. You can't threaten someone into being peaceful forever, the motivation has to come from within, when the person aspires to a higher standard.

As Josh Hartnett grows throughout the story his obliviousness is lost. It's hard to ignore the question, "what changed?" He did... what else? I am not sure. Frankly, if war only changes the people who directly experience it, we will never be rid of war. Many of the most peace loving people I know are war veterans.

I'm rattling on. I am grateful that despite the hardships I have faced in life, like my recent burglary, I still enjoy a life that is more privileged than the vast majority of the world, and I did nothing to deserve it. I was simply born in the right place and the right time to the right parents. Thank you God!

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  2. I think you have spent too much time ascending and "descending" and not nearly enough time dissenting.

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