Sunday, March 23, 2003

perspective

I'm tired of the war already. For a moment, as we waited to see what would happen, it truly occupied a significant portion of my thought life. How could it not? As a family man, I care about the future of my wife and daughter. As a businessman, I care about the future of my livelihood. And as an intelligent citizen of the world, I do care about what goes on - in the both the general sense (for example, the attack on Iraq triggering sympathy terrorism in the city I live by the Muslim militants; the peso-dollar exchange rate) and in the micro-local scale (how my own life is going to be affected).

However, after the first few days of bombing, racing across the desert and counting how many missiles were shot down by other missiles, I've fallen into a malaise about the entire thing. Yes, its horrible (good for the anti-war protestors who stand up and get hosed down); yes, its sad (warching the footage of Iraqi children in the hospital is heartbreaking); and yes, its a mess (US Senators and UK MPs giving speeches or resigning their posts offers quite a statement on the polarized nature of opinion), but it is also tiresome.

It is one thing to be aware of geopolitics and its disastrous effects on nations and people (including your own), but war and its attendant tragedies are not a subject matter I care to spend any more time thinking about. At a certain point in the thought process, one must shortcircuit certain events and reduce them to billboards or headlines in the news. Why? Because to dwell on something you cannot personally affect is a futile exercise. It is fine to have an opinion - voice it all you want to all who care to listen. But one must also never forget to go about the business of living.

Life does not stop to watch the war unfold. It goes on over it, treating the episode like an obstable in a running stream. Life needs to find a way to push, claw, flow or scamper over it because it simply must. It is alive, after all. If we consciously allow ourselves to stop for an extended duration, we cannot expect everything else to likewise come to a grinding halt.

So for me, the war continues to present a clear and present danger to my life in various circles but more importantly, it serves to underline the preciousness of the very existence I lead. I'll play with my daughter, take my wife out to dinner and a movie, get a massage, grow the business, have fun with my work and workmates, write what pleases me, have drinks and conversation with friends, read old and new comics, play with the WAP function of my phone, pay the bills, exercise and play games.

Because to life, war is just another everyday occurance - like rhythm and dissonance, death and birth, drought and plenty, tears of sorrow and peals of laughter.

Keep it in perspective.

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