Monday, September 27, 2010

High School Allegory

The first day, the soldiers charge the battlefield, young and eager recruits, unaware of the real challenges they are about to face. They usually break down after a few weeks: the glamour of the fight wears off quickly, old friends betray them, all of the officers assign seemingly impossible orders, and the food is terrible. Over the months, though, the challenges seem less impossible. The soldiers discipline themselves and try to keep the morale high, they have the ability to not only find a personal ally in their commanding officers, but also their fellow soldiers. The many challenges they face--the ambushes, the in-camp brawls, the full-out battles--might make them feel like the only option is surrendering to defeat, but there is always another option. And not everyone makes it: some are lost as casualties, some are lost from fear, and some are just lost. Sometimes the motivation to keep going sinks beneath the blackest pits, and they wonder when, or if, this war will ever end. As they become more skilled, it becomes easier, and they realize that there is still hope. Then that blessed day comes when the enemy finally surrenders. The white flag is the epitome of joy to many soldiers, and a light of hope shines on everyone. Each soldier turns in his or her gun and uniform, whether it is in happiness, sadness, excitement or apprehension. Each soldier prepares to return to a normal, happy life. Then, a few months later, they are drafted into an even bigger war.

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