*Editor's Note: As much as I enjoy laughter, levity and encouragement in my writing, sometimes transparent commentary is what the "doctor orders" most. Today is one of those days! I hope my reflective thoughts resonate and even "hit a nerve" with us all to the point we are motivated to a positive course of action and interaction...
Last night I got a double dose of reality. The movie "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson was playing late night. Restless and unable to sleep, I thought watching a few minutes of an old movie would help but was I ever wrong. This was not the movie to lull me to sleep. Oh I've tuned in to action movies before and fallen asleep because I wasn't really following the plot anyway, but this one was different. It wasn't just a mindless "shoot 'em up" movie, it was history in its rawest form. If you've never seen it, I recommend you dig it out of archives somewhere and watch it. It is riveting, heart-wrenching and sobering.
I watched the story unfold of the men who were carried off to the Vietnam War; not really fighting for their flag or their country, but because they were ordered by their government to fight someone else's battle. Ultimately, they fought for each other, to survive and return to the wives and children waiting behind. With the finale' of the story, came a release of tears that had been pent up in the recesses of my emotions somewhere - hidden behind frustration, disgust and even a bit of anger. For the last couple of years, I've followed the news closely through riots against the police, through social and moral cage matches between church and state, through the political "follies," protests and debates; through campus unrest, "coddling" of students and media hoopla. It has been the biggest "comedy of errors" in modern time in my opinion - almost like walking into a house of mirrors where nothing is as it seems, everything is a false perception, and reality is lost in a maze of distortion. We have no idea who we are as individuals or as a country anymore all while the "carnival masters" stand outside the house laughing.
Watching the re-enactment of those young men who died in the 7th Calvary in Vietnam, and seeing the sterile way our government informed their loved ones that they would not be coming home, caused me to wonder even more about so many things. How have we come to such a place in America and in our world where our biggest fear is who uses what restroom; our greatest enemy is the one whose speech differs from our own, and whose ideas "color outside the lines" of our neat little picture? We demand diversity and acceptance, all while shutting down speakers, protesting politicians, and coddling "traumatized" college students who can't handle a name written in chalk on a sidewalk. We stomp on our greatest symbol of freedom and sacrifice, and wave another country's flag in place of the one we trample, burn, spit on and wipe our butts with. A grilled cheese sandwich is deemed "racist," a person is fired for their faith, another is rewarded for theirs. We want freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of choice, but want to deny others the same freedoms. Right and wrong are subjective, truth is relative and reality is in the eyes of the beholder it seems. A person can claim a different skin color, gender, or even age simply by how they feel and no one can refute the law