Afghanistan, Shots, and Choices

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Sometimes there aren’t right answers. Everyone likes to claim the moral high ground and look down on folks for daring to choose a position that is against their own. But sometimes there are no right answers. There are just choices.

I Don’t Watch The News

I try not to keep up with current events. I don’t believe in the importance of the news or its value. Anything that is important enough will find its way to me without listening to hyped-up reporters tell me one side of the story.

Some News Finds You

News about Afghanistan found me. Everyone has an opinion now on what we owe other countries, how to run an army, and how to end a war. I don’t.

I don’t feel like I deserve to have an opinion.

I Wasn’t There

I didn’t fight for my country, against the war on terror, or for the freedom of theirs. I don’t know where that nation is on a map, what language they speak, or the difference between the Taliban and ISIS. I have never tried to justify sending the sons of my neighbors a world away to fight for something I didn’t start. I have never felt the obligation of a nation waiting for their men back from a war everyone had all but forgotten. I have never led troops into battle or gotten them back out. I have never faced orders that might save my life and cost the lives of my allies.

I have never been in those situations.

There Are Always Questions

Did we do the right thing, pulling out? I don’t know. Could we have done it better? Everything can always have been done better. Perfect operations can be done better and perfect games played even more spectacularly. This was not perfect. But it got done. Could we have stayed longer? Of course. Could we have fought more? Always.

Covid Vaccine

What about the virus and the vaccine? Is there a right answer there? So many believe there is. So many are so confident that laws are being passed to force the “right” answer on everyone. Punishments for those who refuse to agree to the right course of action.

I don’t know what the right course of action is. I don’t feel like I have enough information or expertise to make that type of call.

I Don’t Know The Science

I don’t have a degree in biology or medicine. I don’t know how coronavirus works. I don’t know why it affects so many people with different symptoms. I haven’t studied the virus for years and run tests and experiments on it. I haven’t dedicated my life to creating shots that cure people.

But I also haven’t done some other things.

And I Don’t Know The Money

I haven’t bribed people into taking medication with doughnuts and free TVs. I haven’t sponsored ads for my meds with uber-popular celebrities. I haven’t funded the very organization that now recommends my medication.

I don’t know what the right answer is. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I have my measles, mumps, and chickenpox shots. I am not against getting a shot that will prevent me from getting a disease. I trust scientists, the work they have done, and that they generally want to help.

Does That Only Weird Out Me?

But I also get freaked out by the other bit. The bit where companies that make a living off of us being fat, sick, and lazy are holding hands with a health organization. The bit where celebrities who skipped quarantine by being rich enough to set off to their own island are now preaching about how we are all in this together. The part where if something goes wrong after I get this shot, I can’t blame anyone but myself and hope I can make it through whatever happens. And especially the part where for some reason people think they are so absolutely correct that they have the right to force others into their way of thinking through the use of force.

I Have No Clue If My Choice Is Right

I don’t know if not getting the shot is the right choice. I have no idea. I may absolutely be on the wrong end and regret it in a year or two. I don’t think anyone can know the right answer right now. But that is the point.

These Are Your Options

These are situations where there is no right choice. No obvious answer. No morally right decision just waiting to be grasped. American boys for Afghanistan girls. An endless fight with no winning for a cause that no one even believed in until something went wrong. Forcing a foreign substance into people’s bodies for the “greater good”. Taking away the freedom of choice to save some lives.

So Maybe There Isn’t A Right Choice

How do you choose the right path when those are your options? Maybe there isn’t one. Maybe you look at your options, weigh the costs, grit your teeth and choose. Either way, you will be labeled with the consequences of something. It’s just a choice. We have to make it the best we can. We will all live with the consequences. But we get to make our choice on our own.

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Mallory Elizabeth Baskin

Mallory Elizabeth Baskin

A Southern Girl trying to get good at this writing thing. Talking about being gay, getting better, and making life worth living. mallorybaskin.com