We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 128: Christmas Day

Red Christmas Balls on Old Wood with Christmas lights

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! For those of you who celebrate different holidays this time of the year, happy holidays, and for those of you who don’t celebrate anything, that’s okay too. No judgement here for sure. Since today is C-day I figured I would do a quick post and share something a bit personal to me.

I am many things, a student, a mentor, a scientist, and so much more. I’m also a very proud Marine, despite being out of the service for some time now. The pride comes more from the idea of the Marine Corps than the reality of service (unfortunately). Combat is an ugly thing and sometimes people do even uglier things when put in that situation. It doesn’t make it right and those people should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but that doesn’t take away from the idea behind the Marines.

I don’t have family of my own. These people were my family and some of the most touching moments came around the holidays when I would be invited into homes of fellow Marines to celebrate holidays with their family. The offer meant a lot to me, not that I ever took them up on it. In any case, I have very complex feelings about the military and military service in general. Feelings I don’t have the time or energy to share.

Instead, I want to share a memory from before my service. A simple commercial that really stuck with me over the years. I grew up poor (even though now I realize my family was not, they just decided not to spend money on the children), so the idea behind the commercial really touched me.

Maybe it’s silly, sure it’s propaganda and it’s meant to make an impression. Yeah, again complex feelings. Still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t touching and while it isn’t the reason I enlisted in the Marines, it does remind me of something really important.

It reminds me that kids often don’t have a voice. Even now we have young people fighting for climate change and people dismissing it because they are children. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it reminds me to give back. That’s one of the big reasons I do outreach with kids, to give them hope, to give them someone to listen to, and most importantly to teach them that no matter where you come from, you can (with a lot of luck and even more hard work) get somewhere better. Sure, that isn’t the spirit of the commercial or even the point of it, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to be in the Marines to give children hope, you just have to be accessible.

Anyway from my small family to yours, happy holidays.


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