Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Oh, my gosh! Dennis Prager has caught on to my essential cowardice

I'll admit it: I'm a luxury loving coward. Just last night, I was thinking to myself that the greatest invention of modern times is indoor plumbing. I live attached to my computer, and never go anywhere without my cell phone. Why walk, if you can drive? My list of dependency goes on and on. In addition, I'm one of those excessively risk averse people -- I don't speed, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't smoke, I don't like flying.... I've often known that I'm a lily of the field, and at serious risk of getting plucked or stomped. And here is Dennis Prager spelling out what it means to have a country filled with people like me

During the worst of the Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis, I visited Israel and made a documentary ('Israel in a Time of Terror') about how Israelis regarded and lived with the murdering of their fellow men, women and children. I will forever regard the Israelis of that period as achieving a rare level of national greatness: They were able to go on living normal lives, returning the next day to the same cafes bombed the day before, riding on the same bus line that the day before had its passengers blown up, blinded, maimed and brain damaged. While making the documentary, I often wondered how we Americans would react if such terror came to our restaurants, malls and buses. I think the evidence is mixed. I wish I could be entirely optimistic that we would react as befits a nation whose national anthem describes itself as 'The home of the brave,' but there is too much evidence that suggests a less than strong response. I fear that unless a change in the American psyche and character takes place, car bombs as in Baghdad or terror as in Israel could unravel our society. Why? Many Americans have become so afraid of danger, not to mention dying, that they will panic rather than go on with life, which is the only effective response to terror.
He's right of course. I just wonder if I, and the other soft, dependent, risk-averse Americans around me really can rise to the challenge. The Israelis, for better or worse, have been raised with risk from the founding of their state and before. My mother always used to tell me that, in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, many of the soldiers were men and women who had been, mere weeks before, in Displaced Persons and Refugee camps all over Europe.