Permissible Arms

I got my dad a hat. It was what he wanted!

Posted in afghanistan, united states by Karaka on 14 June 2010

I wanted to highlight two paragraphs from Rajiv Srinivasan’s blog that I found especially moving. Rajiv is a very talented writer, and manages to make sentiment both interesting and engaging on a regular basis–no small feat. There’s not a whole lot that will get me to wax poetical–the list pretty much starts with Star Trek, detours around Lucero, and ends somewhere around the perfect marinara sauce–but my dad is one of them. As Father’s Day in the US fast approaches, Rajiv’s connection between his own father and the Taliban he encounters resonates.

Fatherhood is something I think most men take for granted. Society tells us to be headstrong, unemotional leaders. But the best fathers, like my own, have security in their paternal instincts and indulge in the emotional pull of their children. Dad may not always say it, but he shows it: he loves me more than anything in the world, and it really does keep me in line. It makes me want to be a better man: for him, for our family, for our community. There was no way for any such juvenile gang to lure me into a world of violence and dishonor. I could never be a Talib.

In Arabic, the word “Taliban” literally translates as “students”. But it is further derived from the Arabic root “Ta-La-Ba” meaning “to search”. This interpretation is far more descriptive of what these adolescent warriors are. They truly are Lost Boys in search of a purpose for their static lives. They are lost on their life paths, and not necessarily of their own fault. Even as the recipient of the lethal fire induced by such disillusion, I can accept that, had I not a strong father to show me the way…I could have been a lot like Mohammed. Any of us could.

Well put. Read the whole post.

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