Authenticity

Society, and us – as a people – is an interesting thing. I like to think of it as an interesting entity, because in my mind, entities have thoughts of their own. They don’t follow orders and they certainly aren’t computers. But like computers, society thrives and operates on driven commands. But every so often, there’s one person that steps out of that line of command to start something new, and that’s where the magic begins.

I want to be one of those people.

I never questioned the way that I saw things from the way the media taught me until I grew old enough to see their lies. I don’t trust a news anchor as far as I could throw him, and any politician is no different. I don’t care how good they claim to be; I don’t trust them. If I had to ask someone for advice, truthfully, I would go to the nearest war veteran (I know a few in my neighborhood) that fought in wars and have incredible life experience. I would ask them what I should do, what they would propose for me. An idea, or a concept. Why? Because those that have fought in war have seen the world for what it truly is. A grizzly, nasty place that just happens to have something beautiful in the places you’d least expect it.

I’ve always had a deep respect for war veterans and that’s probably because of how my mother taught me about them, teaching me to respect them and telling me stories of things they’ve gone through, tragedies they’d seen, and having come out on the other side to be successful in the rest of their personal lives with their families. Of course, such stories don’t always end up that way, but I prefer to focus on the good. I’ve always wanted to enlist for some type of job within the military, but I can’t. My health condition is too severe. But I often ask myself, if my health wasn’t bad…would I enlist?

Perhaps that’s why I write stories about war. A book that I’ve been trying to publish for over a decade – which I am now taking two years off to think about – is about a war that is over a century old. Most of the ideas I have for books or animations or anything like that include war, fighting, and understanding who they really are in order to help those around them. I’ve never been much into military movies, but put me in front of a fantasy world with war and a good protagonist and I’ll sit there for hours.

I wouldn’t call in a fascination, I’d call it admiration. I often put myself in someone else’s shoes, and I do this every day. When I go to the grocery store, I imagine myself in the clerk’s shoes. How tired they must be, how many times they’ve been yelled at today, and how they might be worried about paying the bills with a minimum wage job. It’s this part of me that sympathizes deeply with war veterans, because there is nothing like seeing war that someone who hasn’t seen it can never understand. I will never truly understand war and the loss and the death until I see it for my very eyes. And let me just say: I hope that if I do ever get a glance at it, I hope that it’s after the war and when people are on their way to better lives, constructing more homes and sanctuaries from the ruins.

It’s this needless fighting that makes me think about society. Who would we be if we took away all of this external violence? Who would we be if we stopped to think of the ripple of our every action that reaches to every corner of the earth? I often think of that, and I try to be as authentically me as possible. But in a world filled with people telling you who to be, it can be difficult to be who you need to be.

But slowly, little by little, I’m getting better at it. And I hope you are, too.

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