Monday, September 12, 2011


I have many Thoughts. It is a constant quest of mine to search for a good topic for a blog post. What is too specific to a certain interest, what is too much whining, what is too political or too much of a downer. Subtract all those things and you've either got a decent blog post or no ideas at all. Sometimes it feels like the latter a lot more than the former.

At any rate, I have Things To Do -- got sidetracked from them by a broken fridge and subsequent, family-wide, frantic eating of perishable food items; never quite got back on track -- and it is nearly 11 p.m. and I am sleepy so the time has come to be decisive.

I wasn't going to talk about 9/11. Well, I was going to and then I was not going to but my other option involves a lot more thinking and I have less time for that now so we are going back to 9/11. Which I realize many people wouldn't appreciate me viewing as a fallback option but I think that's even maybe a good thing. Because one day not too long from now it's going to be another Pearl Harbor and we're only going to be vicariously sad through our grandparents. And that's okay, that's good, because we can't keep feeling the same emotion to the same intensity forever or our brains would fizzle out and we would be gray-faced zombies walking around, too worn out for tears. And I'd rather save my tears for when the occasion really calls for them.

And I guess I'm not really going to talk about 9/11, not exactly. It is, after all, September 12.

What I am going to talk about is perspective, or something like that.

Because that's really important.

Because losing 2,985+ people in virtually one go is horrible for the U.S. And it's horrible for anyone. But in many places it's also a lot more routine.

And while I don't think nationalism is actually a bad thing, or more to the point it is an undeniably present thing regardless of whether or not it is good or bad, because I share to some degree the same culture and hardships and frustration and decisions that other Americans share which I can't say is true of much of the world to the same degree, so I can forgive feeling swept away by national solidarity, but all that separates me from Mexico or Canada is some land and imaginary lines and highway tolls and then another toy fence and another imaginary border. And all that separates me from Iraq is some water and some land and some people and some guns. And even though I may not elect a nationalistic Iraqi as the president of This Country -- were that allowed by our paper document of laws and rules -- and while we may see the world too differently to be friends as we each are right now I still don't want that Iraqi to die or lose their family or feel fear. I don't wish that on anyone except maybe Hitler and a few others and they're either dead or will go that way eventually.

All the world needs, other than a better distribution of food and a better environmental policy, is more empathy. Because if you really, truly have empathy, you will never invade a country for your own gain and you will never bomb a country out of hate and you will never kill a person except maybe out of self-defense or by accident.

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