Friday, September 6, 2013

Aggregate and Individual

I’m frustrated as I wait to cross the four lanes of 117th Ave to get to the park for my bike ride. Traffic! Four lanes of traffic! What a pain! I finally made it to the median. Watching the cars whiz by I noticed one with a woman driving and a child in a car seat. Another, driven by an older guy, was going too slow. Then came a few cars with drivers dressed in ‘business casual’ probably on the way to business/professional appointments. As I crossed the last two lanes and headed to the park, I realized what I’d experienced crossing 117th Ave, wasn’t ‘traffic’, it was people, individual people like me, living their lives and driving to their next destination.

Aggregate and individual, what a difference the label makes! So when one soldier is maimed or dies, her life – parents, friends, hopes, dreams and potential – are changed forever. When the ‘enemy,’ ‘evil doer,’ ‘terrorist/Taliban’ is maimed or dies, we’re made safer. Yet, even these ‘enemies’ have parents, friends, hopes, dreams and potential. There is always an alternative to war or ‘punishment’ if we think of individuals first instead of aggregates.

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