27 September, 2010

Righteous Anger?

I've been feeling drawn back into blogging, and I think this finally pushed the right buttons...

Lex wrote about a massage he received yesterday:

At some point it was revealed that I’d been in the Navy, and retired. This is something of which I am perhaps unseemly proud. There was an almost imperceptible pause in her ministrations, before she asked, almost casually, “Have you ever killed anyone?”

Just reading that, I gasped a little in surprise, amazed at her rudeness.
I took a moment to reply, before responding, “This is not a question we ask even of each other.” Nor was this a conversation I wanted to be in.

Her answer was a satisfied, almost triumphal grunt: “Exactly.” As though some point had been proven.

I sighed to myself softly, decided to let it go.

“I’m a pacifist,” she went on. “I don’t swallow any of it, Iraq. But my sister was talking about how many soldiers joined for college money. I never had any college money. And they knew that they might die.”

There are two guaranteed ways to make me see red instantly--hurt a child, or impugn/attack a veteran simply for who he is. I was seeing red as I continued to read. A shameful part of me was almost a little excited, alert for the crushing verbal blow I knew Lex could deliver, or the air-tight argument he would offer up next to decimate her silly statements in a single sentence.

But instead he ended up somewhere entirely different.

And I thought that maybe I needed to re-examine a post of which I'd always been a bit proud, because we're all trying to come to grips with something...
Hearing Bellavia talk about those parents made my heart hurt, made me angry. Kudos to him for obviously having the sense and the support system to not let such treatment get him down. But shame on those who use a misplaced sense of moral superiority to mask their own weakness, ignorance and fundamental lack of humanity.

Awfully judgmental of me, isn't it?