Mar. 17th, 2011

katernater: (sanctuary • (magnus))
First, let me thank everyone for the incredibly intelligent, civilized comments that were made on on this post, many of which expanded my perception and gave me a different perspective on my grandfather's comments. I agree with [livejournal.com profile] msconduct's comment, especially:

You're right that we are far more tolerant these days than were the attitudea of people who were adults then. That's an excellent thing. But we should never forget that it's also much easier for us to be tolerant of certain things than it was for them. Nobody has shot at us, taken us prisoner or tortured us. And where something analagous has occurred, having bombs dropped on us, tolerance is much less widespread. Many people who wouldn't dream of denigrating the Japanese wouldn't, for example, think twice about condemning the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. So yes, we would be glad we're born in more tolerant times - but we shouldn't fall into the trap of being too self-congratulatory about ourselves.


I think there's a danger in believing that this age, this era, is the most enlightened, the most intelligent and the most morally righteous of any previous generation. It's dangerous to believe that because we have 24-hour news networks and wireless internet that feed us global news and keep us up-to-the-minute with world politics, that we are somehow better than the generations which preceded us, who did not have access to such luxuries. It is just as dangerous to believe that you are without prejudice at all, as it is to believe that you could not exist without it.

[livejournal.com profile] farstepper made the excellent observation that the people who lived through World War II made the conscious choice to step into the fray because they believed that it was the right thing to do. They did so not knowing what the outcome was going to be, or whether or not they were going to come home at the end of it. They fought to protect their country and they fought against men who committed some of the most abominable acts against humankind in the history of the world. I am proud of my grandfather and his service. It is likely that I myself will never see combat, nor will I ever have to see my brother or Todd make that decision. I have the luxury of having been born into what can be (relatively) considered a "peacetime" environment. It makes me all the more proud that my grandfather stepped up when his country needed him, and that he believed what he was doing was the right thing. It is not right for me to stand in judgment of him today when I cannot possibly know the sacrifices he made, or the things that he witnessed during his lifetime. I've heard some of his stories from the service and I know that I would not have been able to have done what he did, or been as brave as he must have been. While I am cognizant that I do not share some of his beliefs, I feel that I may have been more than a little self-righteous in my last post. I have benefitted from reading your insightful comments and opinions. Thank you to those of you who shared them. This is certainly not a black and white issue, nor is one that's easily hashed out on an online blog; but I got to see things from a different perspective and that, to me, is valuable.

And that was a long introduction into the revelation that I am spending the last formative night of my spring break watching two of the Librarian movies and eating chocolate cake. Break is fantastic.

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December 2011

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