I like much of what you have to say, but I share a number of different views about some of the issues. I retired from law enforcement in L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept after 36+ years, 30 of them spent mostly in a patrol car, as a deputy for 10 years, and a Sergeant for 26 years; I worked at 6 different stations in L.A. County, each with unique demographics. My Dad was a deputy for 29 years. I’ve read Grossman and I like much of what he has to say and his perspective on many issues. I want to think about and re-read what you’ve written, and perhaps share some of my thoughts at a future time, as well. I commend you for your service to our country, and I have always had high regard for our military, in general, although I never served in the military. I also want to commend you for your very thoughtful, rational thinking and honest open writing in your blog, and your article. It is rare in much of the writing I see elsewhere. May I suggest you look up an author who is a Vietnam Vet, and is also very thoughtful, honest , open, and rational in his writing and thinking. He has some similar and different ideas about these issues. You may have already read or heard of him: Karl Marlantes, his book “What It’s Like To Go To War.” If not, I think you’ll find him at least interesting.
Today, of course, is Valentine’s Day, which is thought by many cynical people to be nothing more than a manufactured holiday; a clever conspiracy by the Card, Candy, Chocolate, Teddy Bear, and Miscellaneous Gift Industries to get US to part with more of our money. And frankly, the part of me that harbors a healthy portion of cynicism, that part has to agree, to a certain extent.
But the larger portion of this phenomenon called me; that part thinks Valentine’s Day is a special opportunity to express your love, kindness, thoughtfulness and humanity to that special someone (or someone’s) in your life; but also to express that love, kindness, thoughtfulness and humanity to everyone you meet today, on the street, at the supermarket, on the job, at the post office, on the subway, train, plane, or in your car.
Think about how much it “costs” to be kind or thoughtful to a complete stranger today. Express your love and humanity to others and feel what that “feels like” today. How much kindness, love, thoughtfulness, and humanity do you have to “spend” today? The American Economy surely has problems, but each of us has the infinite capacity and resources to spend or give away the currency of kindness, love, thoughtfulness and humanity we possess. It takes courage, mindfulness and putting others before oneself – but it costs nothing. And the “interest” you earn on the “currency” or “capital” of your love, kindness, thoughtfulness, and humanity will return dividends beyond your imaginings; many you may not experience directly, but like a “virus” that spreads and infects others.
Continue reading Try A Little Kindness Today – Be A Symbolic Valentine To Everyone
“He [the student of politics] must also be on his guard against the old words, for the words persist when the reality that lay behind them has changed. It is inherent in our intellectual activity that we seek to imprison reality in our description of it. Soon, long before we realize it , it is we who become the prisoners of the description. From that point on, our ideas degenerate into a kind of folklore which we pass to each other, fondly thinking we are still talking of the reality around us.
Thus we talk of free enterprise, of capitalist society, of the rights of free association, of parliamentary government, as though all of these words stand for the same things they formerly did. Social institutions are what they do, not necessarily what we say they do. It is the verb that matters, not the noun.
If this is not understood, we become symbol worshipers. The categories we once evolved and which were the tools we used in our intercourse with reality become hopelessly blunted. In these circumstances the social and political realities we are supposed to be grappling with change and reshape themselves independently of the collective impact of our ideas. We become the creature and no longer the partner of social realities. As we fumble with outworn categories our political vitality is sucked away and we stumble from one situation to another, without chart, without compass, and with the steering wheel lashed to a course we are no longer following.
This is the real point of danger for a political party and for the leaders and thinkers who inspire it. For if they are out of touch with reality, the masses are not.”
Aneurin Bevan from “In Place of Fear“
Notes from “Language In Thought and Action“
By S.I. Hayakawa and Alan R. Hayakawa, 5th Edition
I retired from one of the largest Law enforcement organizations in the United States of America on April 15th 2011. I began this life journey over thirty six years before, on September 9th, 1974.
Through this blog I hope to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, and the unique perspective which I believe I developed and brought to my former career.