Monday, October 11, 2010
I've been reading through stacks of World War II history books lately--a project I've been considering for a while and throughly enjoying since I embarked upon this adventure. As with most things that you only have a general knowledge of, once you break the surface, you find it complicated. The war was more widespread than I realized. Both sides struggled with and against technical advances. Unexpected people played unexpected roles. Suffering was universal. Cultural differences, particularly between east and west, gave birth to disasters, lack of preparedness, and unleashed viciousness. Noble sacrifice, unbridled ambition, maniacal hatred, and heroic vigilance motivated soldiers and civilians, the elite and the destitute, the virtuous and the depraved. It was sometimes hard to know a friend from a foe, and even harder to know if they held the same position a day, week, or month later. Truth was hard to come by; rumors were cheap and plentiful. As I dig deeper, layer upon layer of complication makes me realize what a precious treasures wisdom, mercy and compassion are.