Wars, it seems to me, are ugly, brutal struggles, and usually at the end, there is rarely a clear winner. In reality, I think, wars are won by the side that ends up losing the least. And I don't mean the one that lost the fewest battles, I think more in terms of the side that had to give up the least in the whole process, and in the end.
America was pretty much destined to win World War II for that reason. I mean, we lost a lot of people, but then, everybody did. So did the Japanese. So did the Germans and the English. We lost a lot of hardware. But ultimately, only two or three times in the whole course of the war was American soil ever attacked. And at the time, none of those places were actual states, only territories. Our cities weren't decimated by bombs and artillery. Our economy wasn't ravaged by the war machine's destructive power. Quite the opposite. Our economy was fueled by it.
But even though we “won” the war, we were still losers. We still lost a lot of lives. We still lost a lot of money that was spent blowing things up and getting blown up. We spent a lot of time and money rebuilding the nations we blew up. And we spent the next 50 years spending more money and lives trying to maintain the illusion of world dominance that we thought we had won.
In the end, the winners are not so much “winners” as they are the ones that lose the least.
Why am I thinking about this today? Because it occurs to me that it's true not only on a national scale, but also on individual scale.
A good friend of ours decided to file for divorce today, from a husband that has been verbally and at times physically abusive. It has been building for the last four or five years, coming to direct battle a couple of times. But our friend has decided that she wants to stop losing. Or, at least, to stop losing as much as she has been. She's been losing life and happiness, and it's time to start rebuilding.
Divorce isn't pretty. It isn't easy. I don't think you can call anyone who goes through it a “winner”, but I admire her courage for deciding to stop losing. I think that can, at times, be called a “win”!