Being alive is tough and even untenable sometimes …

Aaron Bushnell 1

Recently a person in the US Air Force killed himself in front of the US Isreali Embassy. He ended his life in protest of the genocide of the Palestinians. His name was Aaron Bushnell.

I’m sorry that I didn’t meet with this young man before he chose to kille himself by setting himself on fire … because I, likely, may have been able to dissuade him from his suicide as he is, in my opinion, more of value to serve humanity by interacting with those of our ilk — war resisters like many of my Quaker and Catholic Worker F/friends throughout my life than ending his existence.

I would have loved (and I really do mean that word “loved”) to present to him a model of our necessary service to uplift the world for the benefit of humans and other species as our resolved moral and ethical duty to serve life forward during our brief time on earth.

Oh, I well know his suffering and empathy for Palestinians. I first understood extreme suffering when I at age five tried with my utmost full bodily strength to help Hiroshima Maidens in to their pew seats at my Quaker Meeting in NY as they were hosted by families in my church to get reconstructive surgery at Mt. Sinai as no hospitals yet in Japan had the regenerative knowledge.

They were scared to come to the murderers’ land. So they were put up two per household to keep them feeling safe and since most NY Quakers hosting them didn’t speak Japanese as they housed them and brought them to the hospital.

I would have loved telling Aaron Bushnell about the way that I, alive, could help and physically support them and, thereby, show them love and that life WAS worth living.

I would have loved telling him about my landlord when I was in my twenties, Rudy
Shultz, an old German Jew, an elderly man who I taught about the way to very viscerally hand-make wheat bread and who showed me old fading photos if his utterly gorgeous looking wife and two young girls who were slaughtered in a Nazi concentration camp while he, himself, barely clung to life in a nasty work camp.

I have Catholic Worker, Islamic, Quaker, Baptist, Jewish, Hindu, atheist and agnostic friends. The bunch of us all coming from different ways of looking at the world and why should I care about our variances in religion, skin color, culture, ethnics or other discerning factors that could make us ideationally and viciously antithetical to each other. Instead, I love our commonality to lift each other forward.

Simultaneously, I’m sorry for him.

I’m sorry, too, for all of the others who get horrified and shocked out of our wits that we humans can happily slaughter and sometimes even rape children from other tribes and, some of us are so sickened and devastated by the acts that they kill themselves in protests— giving up the only thing that they have in life — the only thing: themselves.

Morrison, a Quaker pacifist who set himself on fire below McNamara’s Pentagon office; Marlene Vrooman Kramel, an Army nurse whose Vietnam service left her …
I know these self-murdering people as I harbor with total resolute rejection “the bombs bursting in air that gave proof to the night that our flag was still there” — a song refrain chanted on July 4th about the founding of the USA — a land built on the genocide of many millions of Natives that had been already here.

Some of us just can’t stand our ways that our history of ravage and humans in general are. So what are we to do in their aftermath — as we look at the burnt flesh of these overly sensitive and strongly conscionable beings who give up themselves to try to remind the rest of us to behave — to act loving toward life?

My own friend, beloved by me Rudy and whose wife and two lovely little girls were killed just like the Gazans reminds me to stand as I did when five and lift flailing, harmed others — Maidens.

I won’t kill myself in protest of my kind’s killing. Instead, I will resist the overview existent with every ounce of my being even as I get into my seventies and less firm than when younger when I was trying to help Maidens. Even with little chance of changing our species’ murdering ways, I will stand firm until my last breath.

That course seems better than this other way for those good caring folks amongst us:

I do understand them as they are my ideational and extremely morally alike kin. However, I have a different way forward.

I’ll keep lifting others into their seats as best as I can — a broken civilian Maiden, a homeless man to whom I hand a sandwich on a sidewalk or any other who by my sheer process of existing, I can serve. Then when I reviewed my life as I take my last final earthly breaths, I know who I am all along. I devised my identity and purpose with a resoluteness that holds as vastly full as does any resolutely pouring of kerosine over your scalp.

Yes, this is our world. We can’t stop or change it in its patterns. So how will we respond — by ending ourselves via kerosene as so much is unbearable or when we jump up gritting our teeth in horror from a pew seat because we simply can’t stand seeing the harm that some of us inflict upon others.

I’m in my seventies, but my knees are still firm despite that they got somewhat ruined in skiing and once literally saving another person’s life. Personally, I prefer jumping up onto my feet and giving aid over giving up myself as existing. Can you stand firmly with me?

Sally Dugman is a political commentator

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Aaron Bushnell’s Divine Violence

Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation was ultimately a religious act, one that radically delineates good and evil and calls us to resist. Aaron Bushnell, when he placed his cell phone on the…

Aaron Bushnell: An Inimitable Martyr

On this past Sunday, 25th February, as most of us carried on with our mundane weekend, Aaron Bushnell, a senior airman in the United States Air Force walked up to…

Aaron Bushnell’s Ultimate Protest

The live-streaming and subsequent videos of US active duty airman Aaron Bushnell’s extreme sacrifice in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Sunday 25 February 2024 should make…

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News