Cruelty/power vs. kindness/generosity | Letter to the editor

Posted 8/25/21

Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban this week. 

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? You begin to wonder if, instead of sending troops and building military bases for 20 years, we had …

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Cruelty/power vs. kindness/generosity | Letter to the editor

Posted

Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban this week. 

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? You begin to wonder if, instead of sending troops and building military bases for 20 years, we had worked with whatever government was in power, building power stations and water systems in the towns and villages that needed them. Working simply from kindness and generosity, with no strings attached (and costing us less). At least the Afghan citizens would know the U.S. had built them. I would prefer a foreign policy without military involvement. It would not stop the “evil” forces of power, which seem built into our human DNA, but it would improve living conditions for fellow Earth residents.

Man’s unspeakable cruelty, allied to power, is not just happening in Afghanistan; it’s here in Port Townsend. I’m reacting to a Nextdoor (online discussion group) story posted by a Kala Point resident who had stopped on Highway 19, just past Mill Road while going home, for two young fawns to cross, only to witness a young man in an oncoming Jeep speed up to hit and crush them, waving the finger at her as he passed. Did this man come from an abusive home? Was he not treated kindly? From some sense of weakness, did he need to demonstrate power? I’m still trying to process this abhorrent act.

We can spend 20 years of military conflict fighting evil. We can stop in our lane to let innocent creatures safely pass to the other side. Unfortunately, neither guarantees success. I’m not naïve enough to believe the military is unnecessary; I would not fight wars with flowers. Still, I believe that kindness and generosity, unattached to power, have major roles to play in foreign and personal affairs.

John Delaney
PORT TOWNSEND

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