Tuesday, January 6, 2015
"It's a hell of a thing to stop a beating heart."
~ Unknown ~
Recently I went to see the movie, American Sniper. Rarely have i been so enthralled by a movie and never have I been so heavy-hearted and silent as I left a theater. In fact, the entire audience was left in sad, stunned silence.
Before I go any further, I need to clarify that I honor the sacrifice of, not only Chris Kyle, but each and every service man or woman that goes to war to serve a country that so very rarely serves them in return. Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper to ever serve in the armed forces, was asked to perform lethal acts that most of us would find unthinkable. And although his heart was stopped at the hands of a murderer, he certainly paid a greater psychological price long before that. Most soldiers do.
At the center of all this is my way of thinking about our belief system and how we are almost entirely influenced by where we're born and what we're taught. Kyle and every soldier before him was taught we are fighting evil in the Middle East. But guess what every soldier in the Middle East is taught. Of course, they're taught they're fighting evil brought about by the selfish infidel. But let us remember, every soldier from every country who ever died or served on a battle field was a son, daughter, father, mother, husband, or friend. A beating heart is a beating heart. Life is life.
EVERY soldier, be they Iraqi, American, Asian, or African are there to defend the country where they were born. It is, and always has been, an "us vs. them" mentality. I fear it will never be a "we." And although I am blessed to have been born a free man in a free country, I could just have easily been born anywhere else in the world, in which case, my beliefs would be molded by my differing experience.
I've said all that to say this. Just stop it, already. The death toll from the attacks on 9/11 were over 3,000 souls. Since that date, the death toll is approaching 15,000 american souls, countless "enemy" souls, and God knows how many civilians. Tens if not hundreds of thousands. Enough already.
Stop killing. Stop the entire mentality. Stop putting a BB Gun in the hands of your child at 8 years old (yeah, I had one at that age) and teaching them to kill small birds and animals. Stop the hunting. Stop the killing. And for crying out loud, stop killing other humans. It seems as though our entire mentality as humans is to kill or be killed. It needn't be that way. It needn't be a situation where someone has what we want and we have to kill them to get it. And it shouldn't be that way for other countries either. Didn't we learn sharing in Kindergarten? Aren't we all members of the human race?
But wait, there's more. Stop believing everything you read and everything you're told. Stop hanging on every sound bite from Fox News or MSNBC, Facebook, and Twitter. Seek the truth for yourself. Stop being a Christian (or Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever) simply because that's what your parents taught you. And, good grief, at least read the book. Don't defend your belief based on what someone told you it says. It's simplistic. It's lazy. And yes, stepping outside the comfort of putting what you've always believed to the test of truth can be painful. VERY painful.
And while I'm at it, stop relying on others, be they personal or bureaucratic, to provide for you what you so readily can provide for yourself. Stop calling 911 when you can walk into a clinic. Stop taking handouts when you can get a job. Stop blaming history and others for your lot in life. Sure, maybe that's easier for some than others. But where you are in life is where you put yourself, period.
You get the idea. It's just enough, already. It's enough blaming, killing, looting, stealing, pointing, and believing in false notions. You are a child of the Universe. No more. No Less. You are capable of amazing things and are perfect just the way you are. Move forward. And for the love of all things holy....
Just Stop It!!!!