On Eating a Hot Dog
I am standing in front of a food stand deciding to buy a hotdog, when I hear these two guys, owners of the stand, talking about chess. My ears perk up. This is not the usual topic I would expect to hear. Asking the nature of the conversation I learn that in Midieval times when Kings didn't have enough money for a standing army, they would wage war by having a chess player play against their enemy. Each group would put up their best chess player. Whoever won the game would win for the country, and the loser would be conquered.
What a great way of dealing with your opponent. No blood spilled; no men sacrificied. One of the young men said, "Yeah, now we are the chess pieces." "The pawns," I said. It wasn't long before I found out that both of these men had served in the same unit in Iraq. Four years long. Said one, "It was four of the longest years of my life." Post traumatic stress? Yes, but each of them found help from the V.A. Individual therapy, medication and best of all, they said, discussion with other veterans from Iraq. One of them had been taking an art class for two years. But in spite of all that, he said, the person he was before had died in Iraq. And that even now he continued to suffer from the effects of serving in Iraq.
Alfred Adler would have resonated with this discussion. He also was in a war; WWI, - as a physician tending to the wounded, soldiers as well as civilians. He identified what he termed, 'War Neuorosis.' It's what we call, Post Traumatic Stress. Adler came out of this experience, totally devestated by the cruelty and violence that he saw. It convinced him that in order to survive, mankind (humankind) would have to learn how to get along.