Mission and de-mission

Misunderstandings are dangerous, particularly if they result from over-dedication by the military ...

These days of coronavirus and confinement led me to think of those doctors, nurses, technicians and assistants who against viruses and ailments (the current version of “against winds and tides”) dedicate body and soul, with a great spirit of sacrifice, to fight against a terrible threat. Then I found myself looking for other examples of dedication and personal sacrifice to the public cause, with the risk of life itself.

It was in this way, thinking about combat, that I became aware of Poland's invasion of the Czech Republic last month, which went unnoticed by many people. It is serious, not least because the two have already been in conflict twice in the space of a century - seven days of war in 1919 and when Poland annexed a territory on the outskirts of Bohumin in 1938. It could seem that the Polish military wanted to avenge affronts and restoring past glories, but no, it was stupidity that they did. The Polish military column entered Czech territory in what Poland confessed to being a “misunderstanding”.

Well, these misunderstandings are not pleasant, as Ivo Dokoupil, coordinator of a Czech environmental agency, says that when he wanted to do his job he was under the purview of a Pole and only gave in due to the tips of the bayonets (the reference to bayonets it's just for literary reasons, it was a machine gun). Misunderstandings are dangerous, particularly if they result from over-dedication by the military.

In October 1925 a Greek soldier ran after his escaped dog and inadvertently crossed the border with Bulgaria and was killed. As a reprisal, Greece invaded Bulgaria and the intervention of the League of Nations, which negotiated the ceasefire, was necessary. They are examples of how, to quote Clemenceau, war is too serious a thing to be left in the hands of the military. Clemenceau also said, after a visit to Buenos Aires in 1910, that Argentina's economy only grows because politicians and businessmen sleep at night, but that is not important for the topic.

Scalpel or syringe are work tools, not weapons, so I went to look for other notable examples of dedication to the profession, and after much searching, I found out. A serious dedication is that of the couple Krupa and Ravi Hongal, photographers from Karnataka, India, who sold the house to build a new one, with the shape of a camera, one of the windows in the model of a lens (large), another just like a display. They went into debt to realize that dream of dozens of years, out of true love for the profession.

Now the photograph is in and out of them, they literally live in it. And, as if that were not enough, against the whole family they called their children Canon, Nikon and Epson. This is what devotion is. I want to see which European finance minister is capable of calling his children Mário Déficit Fiscal, João Debt and Maria da Sustentabilidade…


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