I began writing another post, trying to describe what Afghanistan is like to me. As I was putting my thoughts into words, it occurred to me that the way I was describing things painted a different picture then what I have heard others describe it. So, I stopped to think about that. People will form a perception of what it is like based on my description, but adjusted through the lens of their experiences and their earlier perceptions. The perception they form, their reality, will probably differ from mine. Depending on the person & the perspective it could be close to mine or it could be wildly different.
As I thought about this, it also occurred to me that this reality goes beyond my description of Afghanistan. I need to consider that is how everything is; meaning that people who do not know me will be forming an opinion not only about Afghanistan, but about me as a person based on nothing more than what I write. Some will undoubtably form a negative opinion and others will possibly be offended at the way I describe things. I will try to keep that in mind as I write, not to change who I am or attempt to disguise my thoughts, but to respect other feelings and cultures.
My perception, makes my reality, but it will likely not be exactly your perception or your reality. Neither of us is wrong or right, we just see life through a different lens.
With that, if you ever read something that you don’t ‘like’, take a moment to consider it from another perspective. Even better, ask for clarification to gain an understanding of the meaning behind the thought It was not likely made to offend.
I like what I do or I wouldn’t do it. I like being a Soldier. I like being in the Minnesota Army National Guard. I even like being in Afghanistan. That is not the same as saying that given a choice of anything I wanted, I would pick being in Afghanistan. I am saying that I am willing to make trade-offs; taking the good with the bad. From where I sit right now, when I return home, I hope to stay in uniform and serve this great nation and the great state of Minnesota for a long time to come. But like everything else, things change over time and I guess it is possible that I may change my mind over the next 6 months. In addition, as we all know, some things are beyond our control and I may find I don’t have a choice…
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