Thursday, March 16, 2006

Old Essay

I wrote the following essay approximately 16 months ago.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

The “experts” –many of whom have probably been watching this all unfold longer than I have been alive—say he is “just posturing”. I am not quite certain what they mean by ‘posturing’, though. To be honest, the word makes me a bit uneasy. The picture it evokes in my mind is of the school bully one reads about in stories. The one your mother told you acted that way because he felt insecure with himself and his place in the world. Almost all of us have had a bully in our lives at some time or another. Or maybe you have been the bully. Whatever the case, the idea is still frightening.
What do you do about your bully? Do you ignore ‘Sam’ and hope he goes away? Do you fight back, taking ‘Jane’ down a peg or two? Do you get another, “sensible” third-party (usually an adult) to intervene? Do you blame yourself and think, ‘If only I’d been nicer to Jane when I had the chance.’ Or do you try to befriend ‘Jane’ or ‘Sam’?
I must admit that sometimes I’m tempted to feel sorry for ‘Jane’ or ‘Sam’. It is so easy to blame yourself for other’s problems. If only we had provided more funds, more guidance, more food, more, more and more. But when is it enough? Could we really have saved them from this fate? This fate has both a name and a face. And, just like the bullies in the stories, he will not go away. So, since it looks like he is staying, what do we do about our bully now?
The idea of a bully has reminded me of Hitler, Stalin, and others like them. Maybe we can learn something from our actions after both World War One and World War Two. Maybe we can prevent another Hitler, another Stalin. Maybe the President of the United States needs to step back and look into his ‘friend’s’ eyes again. Maybe we, as Americans, need to step back and give ourselves a second look. Do we really have the answers as we claim? Or are we ourselves just posturing?

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