I can't stand Christmas. Most holidays set my teeth on edge. Some of it is the music-- omnipresent, cloying. Occasionally I can break out of my time and realize how beautiful and sincere much of the music was when it was written by believers and listened to by believers. That's one of my buttons: when sincere good works get manipulated or, worse, are used to manipulate others. So the music annoys me, but that's not why the season annoys me.
Looked at one way, there are no great moments. No big events. Every tactical operation was a few minutes or hours of activity, but what made it possible was the hundreds or thousands of hours of training and prep and the minutes or hours (depending on what we had) of planning. That is what made the visible stuff possible.
But that's not the half of it. Everyday someone got up early in the morning, got her kids off to school and went to work in a factory. She made my armor. Someone else designed the radios. Someone else made the batteries. The motorpool guys took the truck out of circulation every three months to make sure it was lubed and ready to go.
Everyday, everywhere is a constant mill of people doing the right thing. And it keeps all of us going. (As an aside, there isn't enough real work left in the world to keep us all meaningfully employed, so there is a certain percentage of that milling, maybe most of it, that is not contributing, but that doesn't meant they realize it.)
So 'special days' where you are supposed to be thoughtful and kind and caring mean exactly what for the other days? If I give K a present on Xmas; present and a dinner on anniversary and Valentine's Day...are we done? Hell no, and we all know that at some level. Being kind, taking care of others-- that's an every day thing. Or it should be.
(And, personal rant, speaking as an introvert being nice spontaneously is natural and easy. Being nice on a holiday schedule I find exhausting.)
The guys who take away our garbage every week have saved more lives than every policeman and paramedic combined ever. So did the people who designed the sewer systems in any major city. Good deeds. Heroically good deeds. And done every day. People who are nice every day make the world better every day. Not just on Christmas.
Back in the saddle (Part 2) - Previously on The Budo Blog... Back in the saddle refereed to being on the road again. Travelling cross country with Gary Rudenick. This time it will refe...
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