Much of what I know about war was what I learned while playing as a kid. You know, using a stick or a broken branch from a tree, I’d pretend it was a rifle to shoot the bad guys who were out to get me and the rest of the good guys in my old neighborhood.
I’d get shot and then hit the ground, rolling over like a dog playing dead. I got real good at dying, but later I realized it was not something I could carry over into real life.
Getting really angry and wanting to hurt someone was another part of war I tried out when I was a much older kid.
I’d get into a fight on the playground or the block, sticking up for what I believed was something hurtful or threatening to me or one of my friends. I’d fight and usually end up with a black eye but wouldn’t care because I believed I had done the right thing.
The thing that a John Wayne or a Davy Crockett would have done if one of those heroes of mine somehow occupied my body and took a swing at a bully or someone showing disrespect to someone I cared a lot for.
I remember the times that I’d go berserk while in combat. It only happened when one of my own guys got injured and I would want to go after the enemy soldier or sniper to make them pay for the pain they caused.
I did this as a kid. There was a certain thrill to it, I have to admit.
Even today when I see someone showing disrespect to another, something inside sends message via my nervous system to come to the aid of someone less prepared to defend themselves.
Like when a person fails to stop speaking on a cell phone while being served in a line and pays little or no attention to the person waiting on them.
The “fight or flight” stuff is released and I get a charge. I want to take action against the perceived threat, the disrespect. I know I should dial it back– this rage that gets me going from zero to 60 in a split second. But, it’s hard to change such a habit.
I’ve tried to force the person to be decent and caring by humiliating and even shouting at ‘em. I do it, even though I know my anger hurts me just as much as I want it to hurt the other person. Sometimes even more.
Someday I guess that this child in me will find peace. Someday he’ll not react with a club in his hand. Someday he’ll be more compassionate for someone so very ignorant.
But not today.
Today, I am letting that kid rant a little!