Monday, April 14, 2003

Does not man have hard service on earth?
Are not his days like those of a hired man?

Been thinking about service and committment for several days. I enjoy service work, yet for some reason I become frustrated that I'm not joined by a throng of others sharing my enthusiasm. I consider such work worship yet some part of me wants to 'require' it of other people? How is that different from forced prayer? Maybe I should move to Iraq and let someone more sensible take my job...
I have to confess for many years off and on since high school I watched "All My Children". It was the only soap opera I ever followed. It's been a couple of years since I've seen a full episode, I read THIS STORY and I think I've not been missing much. I would love to believe the purpose of a show dealing with "teen lesbian love" is to further the cause of understanding in our world, but admittedly I have a cynical nature. The people I see truly doing the work of God rarely send out press releases to tout their generous work on behalf of humanity

On the desk in front of me is a rejected check from one of Amy's clients. Each time I sit here I see it. It's a significant amount of money, more than 500 bucks. We could use it no doubt and the fact that we counted on that money has cost us. The effort Amy has put in to collecting it has cost us too.
In college, my best friend and I shared a house with several guys and for several months I had to "carry" my friend on the rent. My buddy couldn't pay me- the money became an "issue" and it nearly cost me a friendship...Just before I let it consume me I realized what money was worth. Now, I don't remember if he ever did pay me back. I don't even remember how much money was involved. I don't care. I do know he's still my friend. I couldn't put a price on that.
Don't get me wrong. I'd like this headcase to pay Amy, but the pursuit of money often comes at too high a price for me. Learning that lesson early in life was priceless.

That attitude sounds noble, but it's probably what spawned the professional bill collection industry.
On the warfront: Newsweek has an article detailing some of our war tactics in Iraq. It's fascinating to realize that despite all our high tech weaponry -when push comes to shove, we really haven't advanced too far beyond the schoolyard days when it comes to war:

...young Arab toughs cannot tolerate insults to their manhood. So, as American armored columns pushed down the road to Baghdad, 400-watt loudspeakers mounted on Humvees would, from time to time, blare out in Arabic that Iraqi men are impotent. The Fedayeen, the fierce but undisciplined and untrained Iraqi irregulars, could not bear to be taunted. Whether they took the bait or saw an opportunity to attack, many Iraqis stormed out of their concealed or dug-in positions, pushing aside their human shields in some cases—to be—slaughtered by American tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles..

If the war had gone on much longer we might have been forced to pull out the big guns and start yelling, "Your mother wears Army boots".