Monday, December 28, 2009

White Flags

I tend to stay quiet in almost all political debates. It is the result in equal parts of choosing to reserve my hubris for other opportunities and largely being more fascinated by topics pertaining to one's internal wars than I am those fought on foreign soil. A personal preference.

I do admit, however, that I am intrigued by whether the current war is being fought with purpose or in hopes of emerging victorious. No doubt, being the winner in any struggle sends a message of power that has the potential to shield us from future attack. But what if in our real lives, the small wars we fight -our battles of one - we realize we made a mistake getting involved in the first place? Do we wave the white flag of surrender and find any peace about making the decision to retreat or do we battle on to send a message and protect ourselves from future hurt. Is "giving up" so bad after all?

My grandfather accused me once of being willing to fight over a rotten peach if I thought someone wanted to take it away from me. A keen observation from a man with no filter. He was correct. I have always had the good sense to recognize the proverbial peach as something I did not want and would discard it in the bushes after my defeated adversary retreated, but I would nonetheless engage in the war.  Today after many battles fought and many prizes not worth the fight, I am better about walking away. I do sometimes still accidentally dance onto the thin ice of the battlefield, but I am more comfortable with owning the words "I give up" and skating away to other endeavors.

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