America is at war. But, how many of us really think about it day to day? I recently traveled to Europe and while in Paris, a number of nations including the U.S., decided to implement a no-fly zone in Libya. If I had been home in Kansas and had been asked to react to this change in policy, I certainly would have taken a different outlook.
Many Americans don’t see the immediate impacts of U.S. action in Libya, which is unfortunate. To some, the actions take place in a faraway land that is only accessed via newspapers or television. Our society has turned a blind eye on war and we sacrifice almost nothing while our soldiers sacrifice everything.
While in Europe however, the number of soldiers on the streets skyrocketed and public awareness leaped as well. Americans sometimes get to see to the action in Libya, but don’t necessarily realize what goes into the action. For whatever reason, Europeans make the sacrifice.
Pinpointing this difference in reactions is a challenge, but seeing the Europeans’ reactions firsthand made me realize that we all need to fight the battles together. So, engage yourself. Take a few moments to realize what thousands of Americans are doing for you across seas and across the nation. React.
This call to action is so simple and yet it poses such a strong challenge. Americans are privileged enough not to need soldiers on every street corner. We are lucky enough to feel safe in our communities. Finding that connection and making the sacrifice can be a daunting task, but next time you read the headlines, try to think beyond the story.