Saturday, January 15, 2011

When You Come To The End of The Week...

This week went by quickly and I had great intentions about posting on Thursday with a Thought and Friday Night Grateful Moment but it just slipped away! 

This past week we watched a movie that I wanted to share with you all.  I know that war, going to war, serving in war are all very touchy subjects and I had mixed feelings as I went through this movie.  It is complicated because of the family dynamics here too but it is well done and has a message. 

Ever since Sherwin and I were confronted with the Vietnam war while living in the US and worried about the possibility of him being called to serve I have battled the subject of 'service in wartime' back and forth in my mind and heart.

It is all well and good for us to say, there should be no war, but it seems that as long as humankind exists there will be the push and pull of war and peace.  So my next question is, how do we maintain a somewhat democratic society if there are mean fellows out there who are radical dictators with oppression on their minds?  We stand up to them, right?  How do we stand up to them? 

The history books I have read tell me it is a lot more complicated than that...but sometimes we are called to action. 

The movie is "My Boy Jack", the story of Rudyard Kipling and his son Jack in WWI.  The video here shows Mr. Kipling comforting the King of England in the loss of his son to illness even though his own heart is breaking.  It is worth your time and even if you feel very uncomfortable through parts of this movie it is something for you to think about. 

Which leads me to another thought.  You and I may not be called to serve in a physical war of guns and death and gore but we are all called to serve as humans in a very personal war.  It is a war of, let's call it, let's-stay-civilized.  If we could be diligent about our manners on a one-on-one basis in a very serious way maybe the civility could be contagious. 

It is called being gracious, giving each other the benefit of the doubt, good manners, and mostly respect for our fellow travellers through life.  It seems to me that as long as we call ourselves liberal or conservative, right-wing or left-wing we are not only labeling ourselves but by those very self-labels we are labeling others. 

Tell me, how do you see it?  Remember, we don't have to agree on the subject to enjoy the conversation.  What do you see as a solution to today's severe polarization of ideas and ideals?  What can you and I do personally to neutralize the atmosphere?

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