Monthly Archives: March 2013

An Italian Military Hero

There’s a glib line that “there are no Italian military heroes.” It’s completely wrong. There’s one who stands out in my mind as the epitome of the soldier, a man willing to lay down his life to protect those of others.

His name is Salvo d’Acquisto. After Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943, the Germans took over administration of Italy from Rome northward. In the area where d’Acquisto was stationed, a bomb went off and the Germans didn’t like it. They gathered 23 people to be killed in reprisal. d’Acquisto offered himself in their place, claiming responsibility for the bombing and letting the innocents go free. I must recognize the valor of men and women of Italy who fought against the Nazis and Fascists. Salvo d’Acquisto represents but one story of many, and although people may joke about the Italian army in WW2, the sacrifices of d’Acquisto and others should not be taken lightly, which is why I happily submit this to you all.

In measures of fame and popular acclaim, d’Acquisto has schools and roads and stuff named after him, had movies made about him, and is up for sainthood – I checked at the Vatican website myself. More than that, though, we see a man that realized a solution to a problem was not in killing the enemy, but in allowing the enemy to kill him as a sacrifice to protect others. As I observed Easter services today, my mind went over to how d’Acquisto’s sacrifice was in the manner of Jesus’ sacrifice. He died that others might live. The popular acclaim is there, yes, but what truly makes Salvo d’Acquisto a hero in my eyes is in the way he was able to drink from a bitter cup of sacrifice when there was no other way to save lives.

He was, and is, a true hero. I salute him.

Where Left Meets Right

At the extremes of freedom and authoritarianism, the “left” meets the “right”. As long as a nation exists in the middle, there is plenty of room for variance between the leftists and the rightists, but when certain basic notions are challenged, the two antagonizing sides have to choose to either hang together or hang separately.

The economic situation in Cyprus is one of those challenges to basic notions. One of the basic notions of freedom is the right of property ownership. Even if some people steal, cheat, or otherwise come across their property in unethical ways, not all people come into property ownership that way. For the European Central Bank to say that the solution to Cyprus’ economic woes lies in seizing the property of individuals means that the ECB has challenged one of the basic notions of freedom.

For those on the left and the right that now find themselves uncomfortably close together on the issue of property rights, let me make a suggestion: drop your other quarrels and unite on this one. Get to know each other. Get used to working together. Remember, we have to hang together if we don’t wish to hang separately. Property ownership is important, and there will be more conflicts in this area as governments seek to turn to financial repression in order to solve their economic problems.

The Search for Truth

I search for truth. That means I have to wade through a lot of stuff that falls in the category of “mistaken, misguided, or misleading statements.” No matter what the cause of the error, error is error. Seeking truth means humbling myself when error is found within and then seeking to know better.

Even if I believe to have found the font of eternal wisdom and perfect knowledge, I can still form my own erroneous impressions or heed the misjudgments of others as I sip from that font. Hence, the necessity of humility.

Pride in my knowledge means I cannot allow it to be corrected. That leads to arrogance and worse. Humility in my knowledge means I know that I must be corrected, that I am not yet perfect, that I *will* be corrected, and, ultimately, that I must be thankful for the correction that I receive.

So what is truth? That part is surprisingly simple, and I suspect that the greatest errors are made when we humans choose to overcomplicate things. Truth is this: God is Love. If we seek to be Godlike, we must love, and love with purity. We must have compassion, unselfishness, no desire of reciprocal utility, and so on, in our pure love. When we hear or think things that interfere with that purity of love, there is something of untruth about those influences.

The search for truth, therefore, is not so much a discovery of the simple fact that God is Love, but is instead the process of removing the errors in our own lives that we might be ready to not only better know the truth, but to be able to live that truth more perfectly.