Pain and Suffering

Pain and Suffering

Maybe it was because it was Ash Wednesday, and as a proper Roman Catholic, I was just looking for a reason to feel guilty. But as I was driving and listening to Michigan Radio and the latest news from the war in Ukraine, I passed a gas station. When I saw $3.79 on the marquee, I instinctively calculated the cost of my next fill-up and frowned in disapproval. Then the radio informed me that there are already one million Ukrainian refugees with up to four million expected soon.

So, yeah, poor me.

Now, I fully understand that rising gas prices are a significant problem for many Americans. But it isn’t fleeing our home. It isn’t exploding missiles. It isn’t violent death.

As Americans we are blessed with two oceans that have kept us well insulated. The last large-scale land war we experienced directly ended 157 years ago (and it was us battling us). I am absolutely grateful for this. But as a consequence, we don’t seem to have the proper context for what war is.

So, let us carry on with our kvetching about gas prices and other real and perceived inconveniences. I mean, we’re human — we’re gonna complain no matter what. But perhaps give some consideration for what real pain and suffering is.

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