Lessons from History This is so vividly brought to mind when one considered the decision by Harry Truman to use those two initial A-bombs in the effort to end the bloody War in the Pacific. The projections were that the invasion of Japan would result in a million causalities for the allies, and would utterly decimate Japan, killing perhaps a quarter of the population, and require the Soviet Union to join in, and to then share in the dismemberment of Japan, just as had been done to Germany. Japan came near to not surrendering, as a coup had been attempted. But they did and history is much the better for that brave and hard decision by Truman. Decisions made be hard, but then one must consider the other options available. I am not at all convinced that there is a sense of exasperated anticlimax when a decision has proven to be ultimately an enrichment of your life. Quite the contrary; suddenly elation sets in, launching into an exciting proposition. So, live for the moment and enjoy the thrills. Hopefully, there is permanence to all of this, for a lot of love, mingled with misgivings wrapped up in sentiment, was invested in bringing this to that perfect culmination of unabashed joy. Chapter Eleven To Be Or Not To Be “To be or not to be, that is the question.” Somewhere in that quote we find a profundity which we can all embrace whether in essay or in real life. We face that fact practically every day and usually haven’t the faintest idea of what course to take. It can be as simple as what shall I wear, or what image do I wish to convey? Do I want to be square or stylish? This list could go on ad infinitum and we would still have not attained an answer. There is a pathetic side to this rather absurd question, for it is out of fear of being unaccepted that we rarely say what we really think or feel. Be yourself! That is the answer to this way of expressing the obvious. Somewhere along the way the truth will out and what follows is a spiral into an abyss of deception and a cruel pathway as you attempt to maneuver your way out of your lie. What evolves from there are the barnacles of other peoples prejudices that begin to stick to you and hamper your progress. There is nothing imperceptible about you learning just who you are, and here’s the rub… never quit learning! Uproot the weeds that inhibit your capabilities to further your education and the self-examination into you as a person. Also, good manners will never get you into trouble, unless some ignorant fool is pointing a crooked finger, and it will soon be common knowledge as to who has not been properly raised. If said lummox tries to integrate into society as a useful member, there is a common ground that will only be found among those with less sense of propriety and an abundance of hypocrisy. It will not take too long before the pretender will be exposed and can very well become a laughing stock, pitied and scorned. It is our Lord’s wise recommendations, “When you are invited take the lower place so that when your host comes he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place'” (Lk. 14:10). To return to the subject of being who you are and being true to yourself, it is not at all uncommon to find people trying very hard to impose themselves on others with a made up persona. Caught up in a prison of impersonation, pretentiously and erroneously as they try to climb socially, even in biker bars they can be found, trying to be that creation they pretend they are. Woe be unto a phony in that social circle. The reinvented image can be meticulously molded and given much time to develop. Much goes into educating one’s self for the new identity they wish to assume. These characters so involved with acting out will spend an accumulation of many hours in trying to take on a new role. They go into debt to accumulate the needed wardrobe and accoutrements to convince any onlooker that they are what is perceived to be.