Saturday, May 14, 2005

Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing--Søren Kierkegaard

This is the consequence of violence:
On good days, Cpl. Richard Twohig doesn't throw up or have to spend 12 to 14 hours hiding in bed with the shades drawn. The bad days come about once a week. The headaches are so bad, his knees buckle from the pain. Sometimes, his wife, Sang, has to help him into bed.

Twohig is a former Ranger and paratrooper who used to hunt, fish and play sports. He would dive under the hood of his car and make repairs or chase his 2-year-old son, Damon, or 5-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, around the yard.

Now, even on good days, too much noise or light brings on the headaches. Just the clanking of the weights at a fitness center on Fort Bragg makes him nauseated. His short-term memory constantly fails him, forcing him to have simple questions repeated. He has a constant ringing in his ears.

"I don't feel like a man anymore. I can't do normal stuff," Twohig said.

He is unable to work and, like many injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was counting on the Army to provide him and his family with medical benefits. But lawyers representing some of those soldiers said the Army is making it difficult.

The Army determined that Twohig was less than 30 percent disabled. In order to maintain his Defense Department benefits, he had to meet the 30 percent level.
Now, not to put too fine a point on it: if someone can tell me what level of violence, from angry outburst to armed insurrection, will solve Cpl. Twohig's problem, and prevent any others from being similiarly situated, I might reconsider the value of violence.

But it isn't really a quiver, where you can choose various weapons from vicious to caring, or a Chinese menu, where you can take one from column A, another from column B, as you wish. Søren Kierkegaard said purity of heart is to will one thing. It seems too simplistic to say that you cannot will one thing one time, another at another. But, as Leonard Bernstein said in his Mass: "God is the simplest of all."

We are the ones determined to complicate matters.

Thanks to echidne for finding this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment