This weekend our colleagues in the United States celebrated Memorial Day, a national holiday dedicated to those who have died in all the wars fought by the USA since 1776. For some it’s a day of sadness and remembrance of dear ones lost – forever frozen in timeless youth…. For an ever-shrinking some, it’s a day to revisit their own war experiences, now the stuff of novels, movies and history books. And for yet another some it’s way too close to home, as the sound of bullets and the fear of terrible death are still palpable.
Yet for many of us it’s merely a long weekend, a chance to go to the beach and barbecue. And of course, it’s a weekend to take advantage of big retail discounts – another tradition of the day.
Truthfully I don’t mean to bash my fellow country folk – my experience is that many countries have similar days set aside for similar purposes and that in many instances the general flow of the day is not too dissimilar from that which I have described. Yet it seems to me that the point of these days was not to glorify or reminisce – but rather to warn and caution.
To that end – forgive me for abandoning my usual format and general subject matter and allow me to share three thoughts that I find inspiring and stirring in much the same way martial music is to war itself.
The first deals with changing the paradigm. It reminds me of the famous notion of what would happen if they threw a war and no one came – Listen:
“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” John F. Kennedy
The second I find to be relevant to today. We are convinced that technology solves all problems – what if it doesn’t? Listen:
“I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.” Albert Einstein
The third is the sum of all – the raison d’être of our being…. Listen:
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Jung
Thanks for allowing me the soapbox today. As for me – I’m going to try to kindle that light or at least allow myself to be lit…