Twenty years ago I completed my obligatory army service. I had chosen to serve in the Greek Special Forces as a Green Beret, not as a bloodthirsty warrior, but as a thinker and an observer of the darker facets of human nature. My thigh pocket was always bulging with a paperback and a small notebook, and I was getting weird looks all the time. I even got penalized once for reading in solitude, while many fellow commandos were freely going to brothels and revealing future unit movements.
Today I received a top-secret-marked document per registered mail; a specific order to report “in case of a military mobilization”. The last time I got such a notice was seventeen incarnations years ago, and it was not that specific then. Now all fields are already filled in, even those with movement instructions and codes, and it says all of us ex-reservists, Greek army retirees, must be prepared to be summoned anytime and immediately, even through announcements in the media. I wonder what the military urgency might be; or maybe just a routine mobilization exercise; or maybe it’s just me the philosopher thinking too deep again. After all, we all love and willingly defend our countries till the last drop of our blood, right?
What I do know for sure is that, even in the case of an exercise, the unemployed will be getting no pay whatsoever, that all initial expenses for such a mobilization will burden desperate men who are already fighting to barely survive day by day during a seeming peacetime. These men cannot be leaving their equally jobless wives behind. These civilians cannot be messing with hazardous munitions and weaponry they have completely lost contact with in a country with a collapsed healthcare system. Mind you, during such exercises I have seen with my own eyes fellow soldiers getting seriously injured at a time when far more expenses were being approved for safety measures.
May we all be protected from the evils of this world. Let us be in touch with our higher selves.
That is why I go into solitude – so as not to drink out of everybody’s cistern. When I am among the many, I live as the many do and I do not think as I really think; after a time it always seems as though they want to banish me from myself and rob me of my soul – and I grow angry with everybody and fear everybody. I then retire to the desert so as to grow good again.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900), Daybreak