Around this time – especially with a war going on in the Middle East and the annual reminders of Pearl Harbor – we think about soldiers, and the prices that they and their families pay. Then we get back to planning our office parties, playing our video games, and arguing about how we pick a college football champion. And yes, even pontificating on our little blogs, as if each of us and our opinions were so darned important.
It occurred to me that if we are really serious about honoring the memories of those who died (and the sacrifices of those who served or are currently serving) we should give a little more thought to how we spend our time, as measured against those sacrifices. We are quick to offer thanks for the protection of “our American way of life.” But it would be nice if we used more of the freedom they bought for us on things they would be proud to have dedicated, and sometimes given, their lives to protecting.
Were they defending our ability to have family moments, reinforcing the bonds between parents, children and siblings? Or the right to obsess about getting to the mall at 5 a.m. on a certain day to save money? Were they protecting the fun and team spirit of playing and watching sports, and winning or losing as a team? Or wasting hours of contentious blather about how much we “need” a college football playoff…or what a rich and famous golfer does with his time….or what coach – himself a human being — ought to be fired from his job, in our so very knowledgeable opinions? Americans uniting for worthy causes, or Americans spending hours on Facebook, sharing mindless babble and cruel or stupid You Tube videos.
I’m going to see how long I can make myself think about things like that. If I gave my life for the preservation of American society, what things would I feel good about having defended…what things would I regard as worth my efforts ? I’m going to try to do more of those things – and fewer of the ones that make me a little embarrassed when I think about them that way.
I invite you to join me.