May 31, 2021—Part I of II: Memorial Day; June 1, 2021—Part II of II: Pandora’s Box
“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” the Queen remarked. Lewis Carroll
I’ve been thinking about soldiers, whether uniformed or not, and all they do and have done. I think, relative to the living at least, that so far we have not proven ourselves worthy as we’ve not given those who soldier the relief we all need—to set things right.
While remembering and celebrating our veterans is a good thing, it is not enough without gaining the life and behaviors for which so many have fought. Otherwise, all the soldiering that has and is being done, is just a postponement at best, or futile at worst.
Shed tears, not blood.
A wagon of wounds is not the same as a wagon of scars. Hoo-nōs
Perhaps there are two kinds of boxes in Pandora’s inventory—an internal and an external box of plagues. The nature of internal human plagues was and is created by us, its genetic code likely one of unworthiness. The nature of external plagues does not have to be of our creation, though we can be its agent by coopting it into our own interpretations and motivations.
There have been many who have opened those boxes, but the one opening them is not the only one who put the plagues in there, especially those internal human plagues, which we’ve all had a hand in.
Those who open the boxes deliberately, know and desire to create and exploit internal plagues and use the threat of external plagues (already upon us or named as coming soon) to further their own agendas. They may be trying to be worthy through revenge for having been exploited themselves.
Those who open the boxes inadvertently are likely naïve and unprepared having been steeped in innocence and protected from humanities’ shadow—that unworthiness borne of just being born. They are curious, but not circumspect.
Those who open the boxes with deliberate care can be cautious, wondering, but not prepared for what they might contain. But worthiness is deliberate and, if necessary, about overcoming adversity through battle and struggle.
Those who guard the boxes with their lives—and the lives of others if necessary—can be strident as keeping the gates of hell closed tight is paramount. They are trying to be worthy through “noble” sacrifice.
There are those who are all of the above at times. They are most of us, neither always angels nor devils. They have shadows and cast them, but they have light and cast that as well. They do not endeavor to throw acid upon humanity or democracy. And if they begin to, they correct. They seek help and offer it. They do not seek personal power over others, or offer it. Worthiness may be innate, but it is good work that polishes it.
Perhaps Pandora’s Box is really about us and how we treat each other and the struggle. We all have scars, but we need not continue wounding ourselves and others. Perhaps we could start shedding tears, a cleansing agent, and stop shedding each other’s blood, a contaminating agent.
Pandora’s Box is not a given. Neither is our response, though we seem to fall into a pattern of conflict and war and extermination, as though that’s the correct way to right the ship of us if the sailing is not to our liking.
Life is apparently about setbacks, as well as going forwards, though the former can seem much more obvious than the latter. It might help to know the difference between scars and wounds, since it may be wounds that are behind our inhumanity. Scars are wounds that have healed, there is little sense picking at or on them, unless we like to wound.
Note to the two or three who may occasionally read this stuff: Any comments and replies appear below the blog in question, usually about a month later.