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Are You Disposable?

November 30, 2011

Today, I was on a flight to Los Angeles and happened to sit next to a younger woman who was on her way to visit and stay with a friend who just had a baby and whose husband was getting ready to deploy for the second time.

We talked about the challenges her friend was facing: the worry, the feelings of being alone while raising an infant, the homesickness for friends and family, etc. Having a son who has deployed twice and also having had to raise my own children far from family, I could relate to and understand my seatmate’s friend’s concerns.

She mentioned the age her friend was when she married her soldier husband – twenty – and her age when she gave birth to their first child – twenty three.  She said she was happy for her friend as she and her husband got along well and seemed to really love each other.  I commented that it was rare these days to hear of such a young couple who seemed so committed to each other and their marriage. My seatmate agreed,  She then made a haunting statement: “My generation tends to see relationships as disposable.” I couldn’t and didn’t respond – I just nodded my head in agreement.  And, I was saddened because, I knew she was right.

So what can be done about that perception? Who – or what – led an entire generation to see themselves – and their relationships as disposable?  I think – no I know – the answers to those questions.  But, they are answers that no one really wants to hear because all of the answers involve something that no one wants to have to engage in: sacrifice.

So, instead of getting on my soapbox, I just want to pose this question: Are you disposable? Something to ponder. Deeply.

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