06 August 2013

A soldier takes stock

[In a parallel universe called 'Humility']
Some may say that I put my life on line.  I did.  That was a choice; let’s say an occupational hazard.  It was for country, sure, but it was a salary-based decision too.  A livelihood. I was shadowed by death and for that reason I am saluted by the public, but that neither gives me bragging rights nor a license to do as I please.
Being human I reveled in the adoration showered on me by one and all after the security forces rid the country of the greatest threat to independence, sovereignty and peace, the LTTE.   Being a member of a regimented outfit with a well-defined structure of authority where orders are given and obeyed, such things don’t easily seep under my skin. 

But maybe, deep down, I took that adoration and gratitude for granted.  In the case of the military offensive to liberate the people and country held siege by the LTTE, there was following-of-order and also heart, the fulfilling of a personal need on account of love for country, identification with way of life, consciousness of history and heritage.  Not all assignments come with such additional incentives. 
In the end, I am a soldier following orders.  Orders of superiors flowing from their superiors and in the end from the political leadership.  They are not always people-friendly.  They need not coincide with my interests.  But I am contracted to execute orders.  As long as I remain a soldier. 

I cannot and should not count on adoration and gratitude on all counts from all people. 


BenTen said...

I, robot!;)