Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daddy I Need to Talk to You!

Around lunch time I got a call from the eldest.  She was insistent about asking me what she said was a very important question.

At first I thought she was going to ask about having some cookies, or maybe watching some TV, but out of left field she asks: "Daddy, what's war?"

This stopped me dead.  This wasn't the kind of question that I could just brush off with some silly answer, this was one of the big ones.  

Honey, that's a very difficult question to answer on the phone.  When I get home, we can talk about it ok?

She acquiesced. 

I spent some time chewing on how to approach it.  While I consider myself fortunate to never have had to fight in a war, or live through one happening on my doorstep, I wonder how much this reality brings me to the notion that war in many cases is necessary for human development.  I can take a distant, dispassionate view of war, see it as what causes huge leaps in technological and social development, understand it as important for the development of humanity in general even the vanquished.  

But I’ve never been the vanquished nor have I seen my family killed (or worse), only ever enjoyed the times of prosperity that followed war.  War is distant, happening elsewhere to others.

I know I’m supposed to think war is bad, but I definitely don’t feel it as such.

Of course, this becomes more complex when I consider that a serious war could very well occur in her lifetime.  

So how to respond?  Maybe it's time to start with some world history lessons.


Anonymous said...


F5Waeg said...

Have you lived through one? Been directly affected by it? It's easy to hold up a sign and say it sucks, but have you actually been there?

If you have, share. If you're the one starting it, or a historian / social scientist looking at it through that lens, how does your perspective become altered when you've never shot / been shot / seen someone shot / raped / blown to shit? Looking at pictures on the net ain't nearly the same as it actually being your son or daughter

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