The “Collateral” Edition

Collateral damage: any damage incidental to an activity. It is defined by the United States Department of Defense as an “Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damages is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.”

Militarily, economically or socially, the idea of collateral damage is unavoidable. To think that the world will bend and fold to your every whim without some kind of conflict is a bit naive. And in theory, I agree with the US position. Saying that something is just if it is for the good of the whole or majority is logical. But obviously, if the circumstance is unjust, then there would be no justification to have collateral damage.

By outsourcing, companies are choosing that the jobs of Americans are expendable, and thus collateral damage. And their ultimate goal, the justification for their behavior, is maintain a profit.

Obviously, it’s not fun to hurt people. With the exclusion of a few people, no one likes to inflict pain on other people. But the average person doesn’t go out of their way to cause hurt.

But sometimes, good people hurt people too. That’s the nature of life. We live in a system, socially and ecologically, that is interdependent on everything else, which is beautiful in itself. But a downfall to this is that your actions can affect more than just yourself.

On a lighter note, one which may not seem relevant at this point in this column, I believe in “love”, for lack of a better word. I believe in a connection that can happen between two people; a connection that has no line or shape, and which we all generalize as “love.” And when this happens, you realize you can’t settle.

There’s no turning back. There’s no compromising. It’s simple enough. But it would be an act of naivety to think you wouldn’t affect the world around you. Is it right to live your life for yourself without consideration of others? No. But are there some situations that, unfortunately, require collateral damage? Yes.

I don’t advocate murder, or mass heart-breakings. But what I do stand for, with a passion, is honesty to one’s self. Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes the truth hurts someone else.

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