Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Having Things In Common

We are Americans, those soldiers on the TV screen and I. Yet, we have so little in common. I would no sooner volunteer to join an effort that might ask me to kill a person than I would cut off my own hand with a utility knife. I would no sooner dress in the uniform and subjugate myself to absolutely obey orders than I would steal a car. We do not share in the idea of what freedom means or in the best ways to achieve it.
Those soldiers and I are supposed to be on the same side, yet we have so very little in common.
Soldiers on one side of a conflict just might have more in common with their peers on the other side. At least they signed up, trained in certain ways, live a certain lifestyle, and probably share a lot of the same tastes and interests. In fact, I bet the average solider has more in common with the enemy soldiers than they do with their own commanding officers, and those officers share more in common with the enemy officers than with their own men they command.
What if mothers like me got together with mothers on the enemy side, artists like me got together with artists on the enemy side, and the soldiers on both sides got together to play cards and drink beer and the officers got together to smoke cigars and talk history of military strategy? Let's stop the fighting and form clubs based on shared interests. It might work better than the war thing.