I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wants and Needs

While writing an e-mail to my brother in Afghanistan I mentioned two things that inadvertently tied in together.
The drought here in Florida and a NY Times article he linked on Facebook titled, "Why would any soldier miss war."

I read the article earlier while drinking coffee in my air conditioned home on my lap top while being, oh, so comfortable in my robe. There are a lot of good takeaways in the NY Time piece. What I got from it is this- We as Americans bear very little costs of the war other than financial. People are dying and many of them are innocent.  The author, Sebastian Junger writes that soldiers compartmentalize war to remain healthy and he knowingly writes about our country,

   "We avoid any direct look at the reality of war. And both sides of the political spectrum indulge in this; liberals tend to be scandalized that war can be tremendously alluring to young men, and conservatives rarely acknowledge that war kills far more innocent people than guilty ones. Soldiers understand both of these things but don’t know how to talk about them when met with blank stares from friends and family back home."

He also writes "If society were willing to acknowledge the very real horrors of war — even a just war, as I believe some are — then men like Brendan would not have to struggle with the gap between their world view and ours." We do not want to see the horrors of war so we compartmentalize it and file it away. Maybe never to be looked at or reexamined. The soldiers need us to step up and acknowledge  what is happening and has happened.  They make sacrifices in the name of our country yet we make no sacrifices for them. Junger suggests a monument to the innocent killed in the wars. Is that enough? We make few sacrifices now. The leadership in Washington is not making any personal sacrifices that I can see. 

It all goes back to wants and needs. Here is the example that may be easier to understand. We live in SW Florida. Golf capital of the world. We have had drought conditions and though it is rainy season we will need a tropical event to fill the aquifers. Even though we have low aquifers and it is rainy season people are watering lawns.  Golf courses are in full swing. Everything is lush and green year round- even during the dry season. Or should I say especially during the dry season. 
Does everyone know the aquifers are low and we are negatively impacting the environment? Sure. But why look at ways to fix it or cut back on consumption more than may be comfortable when we can just keep watering til the aquifer dries up. Compartmentalized thinking. Same thing different negative outcome. After all why should someone have a brown lawn and a full aquifer of drinking water?

We all have things we want but what we want is not a necessity. Does everyone want a green lawn. Sure. Is a green lawn necessary for our survival. No.
We may want a new car but that does not make it necessary should we already own a car that is a few years old but still runs. The sign of maturity is ignoring what you want and focusing on only what is necessary. Are name brands great? Sure. Do I need them to be a whole happy person? No. So about the war. Does anyone want to make personal sacrifices? No. Do we really need to make changes to aid our soldiers in coming back into society? Yes. 

We don't have to like war and we can do many things to keep the soldiers in the war from being forgotten and compartmentalized.  Talk about it- a lot- to everyone. If you don't like the war and don't want to support a soldier- fine. Get off your butt and go protest then. But do something. I am writing about it to spread the word. The full article link is below.

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