Die for your country

Created on Friday, January 13, 2006.
Filed under .
“Nately was instantly up in arms again. ‘There is nothing absurd about risking your life for your country!’ he declared. ‘Isn’t there?’ asked the old man. ‘What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting this war. Surely so many countries can’t all be worth dying for.’ ‘Anything worth living for,’ said Nately, ‘is worth dying for.’ ‘And anything worth dying for,’ answered the sacreligious old man, ‘is certainly worth living for. You know, you’re such a pure and naive young man that I almost feel sorry for you. How old are you? Twenty-five? Twenty-six?’ ‘Nineteen,’ said Nately. ‘I’ll be twenty in January.’ ‘If you live.’ The old man shook his head […]. ‘They are going to kill you if you don’t watch out, and I can see that you are not going to watch out. Why don’t you use some sense and try to be more like me? You might live to be a hundred and seven too.’ ‘Because it’s better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees.,’ Nately retorted with triumphant and lofty conviction. ‘I guess you’ve heard that saying before.’ ‘Yes, I certainly have,’ mused the treacherous old man, smiling again. ‘But I’m afraid you have it backward. It is better to live on one’s feet than die on one’s knees. That is the way the saying goes.’ ‘Are you sure?’ Nately asked with sober confusion. ‘It seems to make more sense my way.’ ‘No, it makes more sense my way. Ask your friends.’”

Catch-22, Joseph Heller

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2018.