Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday

Last night, (or early this morning, depending on how you roll), I was leaning against the wall in my favourite pub, looking ornamental, while my friend C charmed us free drinks from the bar-tender. Suddenly, what seemed like an entire regiment of men in uniform flooded the place, roaring and singing and laughing. Of course, C and i, being the curious girls that we are, roped a few of them into our circle to see who they were and where they were from. Pretty soon we were all laughing and talking too, until i looked over at C and she looked at me, and she had tears in her eyes. "We need to go to the bathroom" she informed them, and dragged me upstairs. In the relative quiet of the loo, she told me that when she had asked the soldier she had been talking to what he had been doing that day, he grew strange and brittle, and had told her: "Today we buried a comrade. Tomorrow we will bury another." and laughed harshly.

I will be honest: the war has not affected my personal life at all. It seems so very, very distant, and i rarely think about it despite it being in the media almost every day. But to some, and I'm not just talking about the soldiers/airmen/whoever, war basically is their life. They eat, sleep, live and die to the drums of bombs and shellfire. Whatever the corrupt government motives are behind it all, when it comes down to it, it is ordinary man against man, fighting tooth and nail to protect what he believes in: his family, religion, following orders, his country, pride, etc. And it is ordinary people, wives and husbands, brothers, sisters, children who die for it. I feel very uncomfortable with the idea of innocent civillians, and even random, crass soldiers in the bar, dying for these noble, abstract causes like peace, freedom, righteousness.
Ooooh, this is too big a topic, too dear to my heart to discuss in full right now. I am tired. I feel unexpected sorrow for the fallen comrades of men I don't know. I feel mournful for the thousands who die needlessly every day, from war, starvation, drought, disease. How can we sit here, hoarding our trash and wallowing in excess when billions of people need our help? How can we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their pleas when we have the ability to solve their problems? Hypocrite that i am, as i loll around doing nothing but study. There is no one to blame more than ourselves.

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