To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.George Washington
I love guns. Big guns, tanks, armored vehicles and war machinery; the bigger the better. I love fighter jets, warships and the military. Special forces, yep, you guessed it I’m a fan. Those who serve often put everything on the line for our freedom.
Since I was a little girl, I have “geeked out” on wars and many things military. In fact for several of my teen years, I wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force. My dream was to fly the SR-71 Blackbird (I mean, who doesn’t want to travel at Mach 3 plus?). This dream lasted until the Tailhook scandal rocked the country 2 years before I would have joined the Air Force. Hearing the daily reports on the local news of the details of the scandal ended my desire to sign-up. However, I still enjoy going to air shows and still passionately support the military. Even getting into arguments on Veterans’ Day last year.
At the same time, war is something that I do not inherently like to see. It is not my desire to see others suffer. In fact, I seek out peace for myself and everyone on this planet. I do my best to find peace in every situation. I also do my best to bring as much peace to any situation as I can. However, I have been known to stand defiantly and defend my territory (I am a mother, after all, and most mothers I know have a mother bear in her somewhere).
So how does this love for war and military might exist simultaneously in the same person who is pro-peace? Someone who believes in and does her best to follow the principles of lovingkindness also supports the military. How is that? This has been perplexing even to me, until recently.
Power and Protection
The power of the military appeals to me. It shows the strength of individuals working together in groups. A bundle of twigs is stronger than an individual twig. The forest is mightier than the individual tree in hurricane-force winds.
The military protects us, our freedoms and our rights. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen put everything on the line to keep us safe. Their lives, limbs, health, sanity, overall well-being, marriages/relationships and often seeing their children grow up are all often “up for grabs.” As a civilian, I can only guess as to how much affects those who serve and their families.
I have a great respect for those who follow their passions. Add to this a willingness to serve and protect others just “ups the ante.” Warriors are those who face their fears head on; going where most others would gladly flee. Those who train, bleed and sweat to prevent the bloodshed and suffering of others are warriors, whether on the front-lines or not. Those who espouse this warrior spirit gain a higher level of respect in my book.
One could argue that wars between nations are the outward expression of the inner conflict of each person on this planet. As long as we fight within ourselves, we will fight outside of ourselves with others as well. As long as we believe there is “not enough” or that we are not safe, we will continue to have wars.
Yang & Balance
All things must be balanced. The military represents the hard vs the soft, the masculine vs the feminine, the yang vs the yin, the aggressive vs the passive, the structure vs the void. The function of the yang military is to protect the yin of those who need protection. Thus the military provides the balance.
So maybe it is not so contradictory that I can hold peace in one hand and support the military in the other. Both hands and both beliefs are part of me. The desire for peace means I must also be willing to fight, to go to battle, for that which I believe. I believe it is my duty to be free. The more freedom I experience in my heart, the more freedom I have to experience the truth of who I am. So I am grateful for the military protecting our freedoms, so that I can learn to experience said freedom more and more within myself.
Thank you to all who serve, who have served and who will serve. Without you, we would not have the myriad of freedoms that we have today; both as individuals and as a country. May peace be with you all, as you continue to sacrifice to protect the freedoms of others, even those who do not support what you do. I also pray that peace be with you as I know many are haunted by what they have seen, and maybe even done, in the name of Freedom.