Maturity is a scary thing. It changes our views from, “Oh no! That can never, ever happen!” To, “Oh, ok. I get why that might need to happen sometimes.” Or, at least it has for me. Or even the opposite in some situations. I have gone from staunchly supporting something to understanding why it is definitely not the best decision for me (Skanky Whore, I’ve always admired this view point on a certain touchy subject). The most amazing part is that these were viewpoints that were never, ever going to change. That were always going to stay the same for me.
Now for people that have known me since I became old enough to form opinions, I am about to shock you, at least a little bit. For people who have known me, I have always been vehemently anti-war. Pretty much that stance has always been about being anti-violence, anti-death, and pretty much all around anti-assholeism. No, we shouldn’t be taking over other countries, even if we don’t agree with the way they are being run or otherwise behaving. We can lend a hand, some advice, or a bit of training but completely take over? That’s not cool. Although I am grateful everyday to be living in this amazing locale, did we really need to kill and destroy the lifestyles of an entire race of peoples? I mean, Lake Tahoe is my backyard, how much luckier could I be?? Oh yeah, in the summers, Yosemite is my backyard. My life is ridiculous but how many people died so that I could live this life? Or so that places like Long Island can be covered in strip malls?
To sum it up? I’ve always been vehemently anti-war. I despise the early Americans, even if I am a direct descendent of them, for their actions in “claiming” the land that we now “own.”
Ok. Ready for the shocking part? Recently, I’ve started to understand why war can be so necessary. I still despise violence, death, and assholeism but I get why sometimes we need to fight for our country’s safety. Keyword: safety. I would much prefer if we could just talk it out, followed by hugging it out, but this seems to be something the human race is incapable of. We all have mommy and daddy issues coupled with chemical imbalances which lead us to having anger issues so we solve our problems with violence. AKA tradition. It’s how we’ve always done it so why change it now?
I didn’t intend this to be a statement of my beliefs about war and the military, so much as I meant this to be about how time alters our beliefs. I feel like I had to outline my beliefs because I had to show how they had changed over time. And then defend them a little. As we grow older, we learn about life and the world and this teaches us what we need to know to understand why we need some of these things. Maybe when I was younger and so adamantly against war, I just couldn’t see the whole picture and I couldn’t understand or accept that if we’re over here acting peaceful and trying to avoid war, we may be setting ourselves up for attack. In no way am I condoning war, I still think that it is morally reprehensible, I am just beginning to understand why it may be necessary sometimes. Incredibly awful, inexcusable actions are taken in the name of war: rape, torture, deprival of food, bombings, etc etc etc… So, obviously I am still very anti-war but with a very different understanding.
During my undergrad there was this kid. We hung out a lot but he was, like, a gazillion years younger than me. Or at least it felt like it. In reality, he’s probably only 3-5 years younger than me. I remember sitting on my bed talking with him and thinking that he needed to quit smoking and grow up. Now? He’s in the army, has been for a long time, and does crazy computer stuff. I don’t know if he’s quit smoking but it’s been several years and he’s grown up quite a bit (kinda). We’ve recently begun talking again and I’m impressed with how much he’s grown up. I’m sure that’s not all the work of the army but I’m guessing it hasn’t hurt.
It was a bit odd to realize that this change had occurred. I realized it a few months ago pretty randomly when I was watching the news. I believe they were doing a story about how a handful of locals had come home from Iraq, showing the families being reunited at the airport, interviews with excited kids, lots of kisses, etc etc etc… I was touched as I had never been before. Since then, I’ve noticed other changes in my various points of view that I never thought would change. Not about inconsequential things such as how I should wear my hair (I’ll be 50 and still rocking pigtails) but important things like abortion and religion. I’m proud that I’m turning 30 and still growing up. I hope I make it to 75 and I’m still growing up (and rocking pigtails).
Why did this topic come up today? The revival of a friendship and this puppy picture: http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/animals-i-love-funny-0.jpg