At the recommendation of a well-read friend, I’m reading “On Killing.” It’s an examination of the psychological cost of learning to kill on people and society, how it affects soldiers and laymen alike. Very interesting stuff. I’m hoping it’ll give me insight into what happens when someone has to go through with something like that. That could make for some compelling reading, methinks.
Anyway, I was reading through the book the other night when I came across this footnote. It turns the last sentence (“It is interesting to note that spending months of continuous exposure to the stresses of combat is a phenomenon found only on the battlefields of this century.”) into something that reads:
“It is interesting to note that spending months of continuous exposure to the stresses of combat is a phenomenon found only on the battlefields of this century and in families.”
Isn’t that just so very sad?!?! Who knows what kind of horrible familial landscape this guy (it looks like a guy’s handwriting) comes from that would make him feel like this applied to his life?
I always find it a little jarring to see someone else’s handwriting in a book I’ve checked out from the library. It feels a little like looking out the windows of your house and being surprised to see someone standing out there staring at you.
So now I feel bad for this person, this mysterious person with the stressful home life. I want to tell him that life does get better, that eventually you get to create your own family where you’re able to set the rules for what acceptable behavior looks like. Maybe he’ll end up a psychology major, given his interest in psychology (as evidenced by his checking out a psychology book from the library). There’s a joke among psychology majors that they enter that field of study in a bid to figure themselves out.
Whatever he does, I sure hope thing got better for him.