Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sharp Stick in Your Eye

By Julie Rahm
          A few days ago, I caught my husband at his laptop; unusual because he is poor typist. He was quiet and very focused. In our house, this could mean a storm is brewing! I was right. He was pounding out a “Letter to the Editor”. And, I do mean pounding. John was angry and someone was going to get a sharp stick in their eye. Not literally, but figuratively. Letting someone “have it” in a public forum can provide a satisfying release for one’s frustration. And, John was going to have his satisfaction with harsh, sharp words. Of course, John was absolutely correct. Are you curious? Read on.
          When Bob Dales passed on, the firehouse flew their U.S. flag at half-mast. My former Marine husband goes berserk when the town’s people of Oriental do this. United States Code; Title 4; Chapter 1; grants authority to only the President of the United States or the Governor to fly the U.S. Flag at half-mast. (I will not mention the authorities granted to the mayor of the District of Colombia and other U.S. territories.) So, the firehouse, town council or mayor (etc.) have no half-mast authority. John was going set the record straight and prevent this from happening by plunging a sharp letter into people’s eye sockets.
          After the letter was completed, John’s blood pressure backed down to a slow boil. Clarity of thought returned. I intervened by reminding him that we have to live in this town. Bob Dales is a shining example of what a person should be. People might misconstrue his objection for insensitivity. Furthermore, the people at the firehouse could not be any better human beings. And, what harm has been done?  At least the U.S. flag is at the firehouse! One day at half-mast is no big deal. I reminded John, these are the people that are coming to extinguish our house fire. (God please forbid.)  Did he really want to burn these bridges? Ultimately, John did not send the letter. He let it go. So this week, my point is not about the authority to fly the flag at half-mast. Any questions can be answered by reading the U.S. Code. My message this week is to choose your battles carefully. Perhaps you may want to let a few things “go”. Don’t fight the small wars.
The Duke of Wellington, who lived from 1769 to 1852, is credited with the quote, “Great countries don’t fight small wars.” As you may know, the Duke of Wellington was actually Arthur Wellesley. He was a leading military and political figure of the 19th century. As a Field Marshall, the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Anyway…
Life is short. Don’t waste time sharpening sticks intended for people’s eyes. When faced with the choice between right or happy, perhaps happy is the better choice! Let the small things “go”. Still, a little more adherence to flag etiquette would keep my husband from going temporarily berserk!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top curve