gratitude-a-thon day 220: I’m not the president

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What if it was you? What if it was your family?

The Syrian thing. It’s terrifying. While I am vehemently against war, my moral center is shouting, “YOU CAN’T JUST STAND BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN.” Then I get occupied by something else, like my son leaving for a foreign country to go to school, or work, or what the hell to make for dinner, and I forget about Syria. And then my moral center starts yapping again, “BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INTO ANOTHER WAR, FOR GOD SAKES. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE THE BOSS OF EVERYBODY.” My moral center is quite chatty– sometimes in a very annoying way that reminds me of when my kids were three and it was bedtime.

I will not pretend to be a foreign policy intellectual, because I am not. But what I am is a girl with a good, solid, (and very verbal) moral center, who believes that we need to be careful here. I don’t know what the answer is. I go back and forth. I do know that it’s hard to do nothing when people who are just like you and me, who have big dreams, and love their kids, and friends, and have favorite foods and books and movies, are attacked in their own country with a deadly chemical. Just think about that for a minute. Consider that you’re out with your ten best friends and your country attacks you with chemicals. What would it be like to know that other countries watched the horrific video feed and didn’t do anything in response. Isn’t that like watching a bully in the school yard and turning your head? Isn’t that what we teach our kids not to do?

I don’t know. I hope diplomacy can trump war. But I don’t know what’ right here. And I’m grateful not to be President Obama right now. Because this is a tough one. This is a really tough one.

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