Tuesday, November 07, 2006

n=7 Choosing a Path toward Affect *

This guy in my office turned in his resignation yesterday because he is joining the airforce.
Background: he is a "design associate" which is a fancy way of saying an architect who is nearly registered; which means he has a degree; which means he enlists as an officer. Also - and actually I just remembered the details of this - he is a SINGLE dad with 2 kids. He told his boss (I learned of all this second-hand) that this is something he has always wanted to do.
So, I started thinking about why someone would join the armed forces at this point in time. Someone who is older, has 2 kids, a degree, and a successful career in the discipline of the degree.
Its not like he needs help paying for college, its not like he needs to "find himself", its not like he needs to bide time until he has direction; so the only reason I can think of is that he wants to make a difference, he wants to contribute, he wants to do something to have an effect*.
ok - so let's say this is the reason...
(no, Aaron, I haven't asked him. I'm scared to talk to him about it because I can't guarantee that my feelings on the subject won't come out during the conversation... and for those of you who actually know me, you are probably chuckling to yourself right now.)
anyway... can you affect* change by joining the armed forces?
well - its seems crazy to me because when you are in such an institution of RANK, you are expected to just take orders. Or give orders. Can you make change? probably not... you can possibly get sent to Iraq, and have a good statistical chance at getting KILLED.
It seems to me that a better way to work on making change is Aaron's route... find a way to get your message out. Communicate with the people, tell them what you think, get them to see your point of view, go into politics, represent yourself, represent your people.
Don't go and get yourself killed.
Am I missing something? maybe its my values that judge the armed forces this way. Do tell if I have got it wrong.
by the way - it seems that its easier to think of topics for my Nov posts during the week, actually, its downright easy. I guess this is proof that I do a good job shutting down my brain on the weekend. Yay me!
* if I'm not using the words in their correct meaning, keep it to yourself... at least I'm trying.

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