I once had a friend
express that she was glad to know I got angry after I’d totally erupted in a
public venue. I, on the other hand, was
surprised that she would even consider that I DIDN’T get angry, because I most
certainly do, and I definitely express it, though not always publicly, yet just
often enough to get me into trouble.
As well, I found
some of the reactions to my recent makeover to be in that same category. One person actually said they were surprised
to see me wearing a dress?!?! Now, THAT
should NOT have been a surprise to anyone who knows me in the slightest!
So, why these
reactions? It seems to be a case of
people only seeing me, or interacting with me, in a particular setting or
circumstance. Or, else they just aren’t
Just because you,
in particular, have never seen me angry, doesn’t automatically mean I don’t get
angry. Just because you, in particular,
haven’t seen me wearing a specific item of clothing, doesn’t automatically mean
that I don’t. And, more important, just
because you, in particular, have seen me act or dress in a certain way, doesn’t
automatically mean I ONLY act or dress that way.
While we humans are
multi-faceted, our interactions with the people around aren’t always. We tend to make assumptions about what we
think we know about others, and then it is so easy, and very tempting, to look
at them as equivalent to cardboard cut-outs - in a static state, never changing.
We often do this with people we have limited contact with, but we can even do
this with close family members.
But, life doesn’t
work that way. We have many sides and
aspects to our personalities that may, or may not, be expressed depending on
the situations we find ourselves in. As
well, we are always changing - even if we don’t think we are - and we bring
those cumulating changes into each and every interaction we have with the
people around us.
As much as we think
we know the various people in our lives, we may not know them as well as we
think we do.
What side are you
on? Are you sure? Do you even know?
There as been a
lot, and I mean a LOT of media coverage of late surrounding Omar Khadr, who,
let me remind you, is a Canadian citizen who, as a minor, ended up in a war
situation and survived. Truly, that is
his ONLY crime - he survived the war.
Now, no matter what
your personal feelings are about him and his situation, I would also like to
remind you that there was a war going on, and Omar was fighting for the wrong
side...or was he?
That is where
things get tricky, and we don’t like to admit that life isn’t as black and
white as we portray it, because that REALLY shakes up our sense of right and
A war means there
are two (at least) sides fighting each other.
So who is the enemy? We say it
was the other side. But….
Not so fast. The Canadians, Americans, and British were
not fighting on home soil, so they were foreigners. We were interlopers in a conflict that was
already in progress. Plus, how many
local civilians did our armies end up killing, even by accident, because it was
a war situation?
Hmmmm, that almost
sounds like it could be a definition of an enemy, doesn’t it? Because it doesn’t matter what side the
soldiers are fighting for, or what justifications are used (fighting to impose
our values on others doesn’t mean our values are right, or are even wanted by
others), to a local civilian, the soldiers are the enemy if they endanger the
civilian’s life, the lives of family and neighbours, home, and livelihood.
In a war situation,
which is horrific beyond belief, there are too many casualties, and untold
destruction, caused by both sides. Soldiers
on all sides are merely doing their job, and fighting as they are trained to do. One side is no more completely innocent than
the other side is completely guilty.
So, either EVERY
single soldier, of every rank, on BOTH sides is punished because they are ALL
guilty of fighting, or...none are.
Because, at the end
of the day, there are no winners in a war.