- Posted January 25, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Women in combat: Your take
Zooming Out for a Moment
Sometimes, it is pertinent to directly address the questions that are posed to us. In this case, the question is regarding the propriety of women in combat. Other times, however, it is necessary to challenge the question itself. Sometimes, we must stand back and say "This conversation is lacking a full perspective."
The presence of anyone in combat appears to assume that we are incapable of resolving international conflict, and that warfare is in fact necessary. If we were to scale ourselves down to the size of children, it would appear that warfare is equivalent to adult children throwing a tantrum. The behaviors are similar; it's just that the toys that we throw when we are adults do much more damage than the ones we throw when we are young.
If we continue to engage in warfare, we seem to assume that dying for your country is one of the best uses of a human soul. In fact, it appears that we are simply accepting these deaths as "normal", and when we bury those bodies, we turn to the next pile of consumable resources and endeavor to use them up until another pile arrives. This, my dear countrymen and women, is absolutely unacceptable.
While I will always applaud bravery, commitment, and fortitude, it seems that by far, the most strategic way to support our troops is to minimize the need for war in the first place...unless of course, we view the sound of Taps in the cemetery as another timeless tradition we need to continually repeat.
Would it not help our troops if we as a nation endeavored to learn a language other than English or sought to value something other than our own reflection in the mirror? What if MRE, instead of standing for Meals Ready to Eat, stood for Mesopotamian Reconciliation Endeavor? If it keeps our children from having to die, I will learn Arabic. Will you not join me? I will endeavor to find common ground with those who we think are our enemies.
Is this so impossible for us?
Are we so rigid that we cannot see things from another culture's point of view?
Is it not time for us to begin thinking outside of the box over which we drape our flags? Our children are too important to us to simply exchange them for a neatly folded triangle. We spend no less than two decades pouring our hearts and souls into them, teaching them to walk, to express themselves, to engage in the world around them, and to love. We try our best to present the world with the most wonderful people we could ever ask for...and then we bury them...their lives snuffed out...in such a short amount of time.
"Greater love has no man than this..." is nonsense. I can think of a hundred different ways our men and women can love than to die needlessly on our foreign and domestic battle fields.
We must learn to think, people. We must learn to challenge our ancient assumptions. We must endeavor to look much farther ahead than "our children's children" if we are to create a timeless society that our descendants will be proud of.
We are the ancient ancestors, my friends. We are not the terminus of humanity. We must lay aside our obsession with independence, for independence is the "divide" of "divide and conquer."
We have yet to understand this lesson: that "Union" and "Independence" simply cannot coexist. They are polar opposites, and will corrode each other as galvanized steel corrodes copper. For us, there is no dielectric union to prevent this from happening.
We must begin the conversation of interdependence, as it is collaborative in nature, and that is the construct that we need. We cannot simply stand alone, for some cannot even stand. Some cannot even talk. And some can hardly breathe.
It is unacceptable for us to say, "I have mine. Too bad if you don't have yours," for this breeds violence in our neighborhoods and hatred in our minds. This will not produce a timeless society, yet it is the low standard we have established thus far. This will not produce the timeless society we need that will carry us for thousands of years to come.
Zoom out, my friends. Zoom out and ask yourself harder questions than we are asking today. We are much smarter than we are acting, and we must adapt to survive.