Once again, I am posting Food for Thought late—and for the same reason: job business. That’s a good thing.
Since this is Memorial Day weekend, I’ve been thinking about service and sacrifice lately. Not the happiest of thoughts, but sometimes necessary. The first question was written by modern thinker and soul singer Edwin Starr.
- Appetizer: War: what is it good for?
- In a perfect world, I would agree with Starr’s answer. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. It is occasionally necessary to fight, even to the death. It is not necessary anywhere near as often as we do it. War should be the diplomatic tool of last resort, not of first choice.
- Soup: Whom do you honor on Memorial Day?
- First, my son. Trackgrease volunteered to serve and stayed in the Reserves for eight years after he left active duty. My brother Edwin was a paratrooper during the Korean conflict. My brother Jim served in the Army during Viet Nam, luckily in Germany. My brother Bill, also served. My uncle Carol was in the Navy during WWII. My father tried to enlist but was turned away because he was unable to turn his wrist to the correct angle to “properly” hold a rifle—never mind that he could light a match with a bullet.
- All of these survived their service.
- Salad: Has there ever been a draft evader in your family?
- My great grandfather came to the United States to avoid serving in the Kaiser’s army. Technically, I was a draft evader for 1o days. The law requiring us to register for the draft expired 10 days after my deadline for registration. A friend of mine went to register a couple of days before my deadline, and they just laughed at him for bothering. So I didn’t bother.
- Entré: If so, do you support that decision?
- Well, given the fact that I wouldn’t have been here if he had stayed in Germany, the self-serving answer is, “Of course I do!”
- Dessert: Why do we continue to go to war?
- The reasons for war are too numerous to list, but they always boil down to greed. Sometimes the greed is on both sides. Sometimes, only on one side.
- I wish nations would follow the Taoist protocols, which have their parallels in most modern religions:
- Avoid rather than hurt.
- Hurt rather than maim.
- Maim rather than kill.
- Kill rather than be killed.