Friday, November 03, 2017

Army desertion, sexual harassment—and thank goodness for family.

One of my mom’s favorite sayings was, “Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” She even had it framed, written in what was supposed to be a Native American style decorated with, yeah, moccasins, feathers, etc. It strikes me as particularly appropriate today when a military court has handed down a sentence for Bowe Bergdahl.

The sitting (or screaming) president was quick to yell that anything short of life in prison was a disgrace to our military. Yep, he who got five deferments for bone spurs that kept him out of Vietnam but apparently not off the golf course.

I am not condoning what Bergdahl did, nor am I even buying that defense story about his deprived childhood. If everyone in this country who had a deprived childhood acted out, we would be in a sorry mess. But I will suggest that none of us know how we’d behave when our life is in danger—unless we’ve been there. Personally, I’m occasionally given to panic attacks that cause me to act irrationally, and I doubt I’d have ever been good in the military. Who knows except Bergdahl what really happened and why.

I think it is fitting that he was tried and sentenced by a military court. We should respect their considered conclusions and judgement and move on with our own lives. I find it less seemly that he is judged by a draft dodger. And don’t think that Bergdahl has or is getting off scot-free. He paid a dear price during his years of captivity, and he is now a branded man in this country. He has made clear on the stand the daily guilt and torment he lives with. My prayer for him is that he can find someone to love him and can build a life, but I know it will be tough. We should all leave him alone to gather what strength he can. From now on, he’s not our business.

Do you want to walk a mile in those moccasins? If not, please stop trying him all over again on Facebook.

I’m struck by Facebook mentality tonight anyway, as more and more men are accused of harassing women and other men. It’s like an epidemic that’s sweeping the nation. I’m afraid harassment has indeed reached epidemic proportions in our country, but I am also afraid there’s a wannabe factor to this rash of accusation. It will take years and dollars to sort out the truth, and some innocent people may be damaged.

And nobody goes after the Number One Groper, the admitted sexual predator. What a world we live in.

As I write about these gloomy subjects, I am waiting for my Austin daughter, her husband, and two sons. We’ll go to supper at Pacific Table, and tomorrow we’ll do some shopping—the TCU Bookstore, Central Market—and then they, with the Burtons, will spend a good portion of the day tailgating and at the game. Megan, a loyal graduate, will cheer for TCU and so will eleven-year-old Ford, our baseball player who wants to go to TCU; Brandon and thirteen-year-old Sawyer will be solidly on the UT side. We’ll have much of Sunday together, and I am relishing the visit in anticipation.

Be kind to each other, my friends. Love not hate. I am struck by the anger with which a man I don’t know replied to a question I asked of someone else on Facebook. Ah, Facebook. It seems to foster anger. Let’s make it foster kind feelings.


Anonymous said...

"And nobody goes after the Number One Groper, the admitted sexual predator. What a world we live in", wonderful, we finally agree on something, Bill Clinton, should be in jail.

Bergdalh? He left his comrades in arms and placed many of them in deadly peril, and I'm suppose to consider his "feelings", ok...

Sexual harassment, these accusations are getting out of control, I mean I was grabbed by one of my co-workers over 20 years ago, she is now married has kids and is an upstanding citizen, after reaching my safe place and going through years of therapy have somehow overcome and been able to piece my life back together. But now, that grab has come back to me, how she grabbed my buttocks and laugh as she went on her merry way....oh, the pain...

Judy Alter said...

I wish Anonymous above had the courage to sign his name. As it is, I disagree with his sentiments and disregard them.