8/19/21: Sacrifices Can’t Be Measured By “End Results”

As I’m sure most have the last few days, I’ve thought a lot abt what’s going on in Afghanistan…especially following the last 20yrs the US has been so involved.

After seeing how quickly the land was taken back over by the Taliban (the ruling party from 1996-2001), so many scenarios have run thru my mind.

So many ppl I fear for: those still in Afghanistan we have to safely get out, the Afghan women who have to worry how their lives may change (back) under this new (old) regime – how it changes their opportunity for education, how they dress, who they’re “allowed” out w, & at what times. It’s scary. Even the slightest return back to Sharia Law would be devastating.

Then I started to hear from friends in the military…friends I’ve known for yrs…friends I’ve made in the MH space…& the last few days for so many of them have been wrought w grief.

So many feel like their efforts: loss of friends, loved ones, limbs, time they’ll never get back, was for naught. They’ve begun to feel lack of purpose. Lack of identity.

Well despite how this has ultimately turned out w the Taliban in power, none of what these brave men & women, & their families sacrificed, was for naught.

Bc of their efforts, a generation of Afghans had some semblance of stability, democratic government, liberty, & rights. Bc of their efforts, women were given opportunities they didn’t have before. Bc of their efforts, the US & the rest of the world was a safer place.

As an org that tries to help us see the similarities in our challenges, while we can’t compare “levels” of pain & sacrifice, I do feel obligated to bridge the gap & paint the pic that sacrifices (for all of us) are not made in vain, regardless of the “end result”…(which is never truly a final end).

Think abt how many scenarios in life we sacrifice for long periods, only for things NOT to work out as we’d dreamed: The marriages we’ve tried to keep together only for them to fall apart w loads of animosity. The business partnerships we’ve tried to maintain, only for entities to dissolve. The jobs we worked our tails off to remain w, only to be let go.

We can’t compare the “levels” of those life challenges to the ones experienced on the battlefield by our service folks. It’s not even possible to compare. But, we can make analogies to help us better understand: that marriage that didn’t work out after 20 yrs, did you not provide some great & even stable times for your kids? That business that went under, did you not provide some salary, benefits, even camaraderie for your employees? That job you lost, did you not service your clients well…give them experiences & tools that helped them? We are SO quick to judge our time & our sacrifices, based on “end results.” But there’s so much more to what our sacrifices have meant to others, that should give us purpose, make us proud of what we DID accomplish, & even a hope that the foundation we laid w those we touched, helps them to live better & more fulfilling lives, despite how things may “seem” in the immediate short term. Lots to be proud of.

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