Re: The Real World: How to Reconcile?
Perhaps your first instincts were just because of youth and inmaturity in this journay called life. To destroy and kill is easy. To preserve and give life, is much harder. Becoming a weapon that gives life and preserves life is a lifetime of development, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and psychologically.
As a combat experienced military officer of over 16 years, I know first hand through the blood of my own and the blood of fallen comrades and enemy, the greater sacrifices that have and haft to be made. But it is not senseless as some would make you think. We do not train to be brainless, senseless destructors.
We are Warriors, sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic. We are the first to suffer anxiety for human society, and the last to seek personal pleasure. Purely BUDO. Aikido plays important part to every aspect of my operational planning and actions in the field. We are to preserve life, preserve freedom, to liberate the oppressed and tortured. Sometimes the surgical strike or cut is necessary to remove evil that can not be changed into good.
I'm sorry that you felt that attempting to join the Army would have made you a senseless killing machine, but those we're your thoughts. Perhaps if joining the Army meant preserving peace, ensuring freedom, giving the children you hope to one day, the same limitless oppportunities we Americans are spoiled with... then perhaps you'd feel differently.
You made a wise and honest choice for yourself. You weren't ready to serve in the Armed Forces.
Yes we teach our young soldiers 'techniques' and 'methods'
that can cause destruction. But with that great skill, comes even greater responsibility. A "weapon of life" is all the difference. That is why the people of Iraq and the people of Afghanistan have the right to vote... that is why the people of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Thailand have survived the Tsunami aftermath... we, the USofA, used our wepaons to GIVE LIFE. I was there as a Strategic Planner on the combined Task Force to ensure it.
Don't lose your faith in the military service.
Aikido is a wonderful way to learn and to grow.
I wish you well, and superb success on your journeys.
There's a wonderful book written by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan,
"The Principles of Aikido" and George Leonard's "Way of Aikido". Both simple reads, nothing too crazy as some books can be. But subtle and sincere.