Day two of the Wendell Berry Mad Farmer Challenge (WBMFC), I spent a long time this morning trying to decide on something that “will not compute.” See, the thing about the WBMFC is that it’s not just about doing something nice, but about doing something that makes people stop and scratch their heads a bit and say “This doesn’t make any sense for what I’ve assumed this person to be.” To be honest, it’s a hard challenge!
Yesterday I signed up to send a letter to a military person in Afghanistan and will mail my letter tomorrow. My letter is not angry or preachy, it’s not a political rant about the horrors of war. Rather, it’s a plea for recognizing humanity.
Today, after much deliberation, I decided to find an organization that stands for something that I completely oppose and send them something nice. I looked at a few, including Secure America Now but couldn’t find their office address. I kept searching and eventually found Keep America Safe, located right here in D.C. (surprise, surprise). Keep America Safe is an organization that lobbies for higher defense spending, stronger military, and more fighting “terrorism.” I probably would be the last person on earth to send them a message of support. From my perspective, they would be a group that doesn’t deserve to be loved.
But, in the spirit of the WBMFC, I sent them a nice box of chocolate-covered fruit, courtesy of Edible Arrangements, with a message saying that I’m praying for them to learn the things that lead to peace, to love their enemies, and help the world beat swords and guns into plowshares. In the same way I need to remember that soldiers are people, not mindless robots (though the military does its best to make them that way), I also need to remember that people who spend their lives advocating for fear and war to be the M.O. of a society are still people.
Anyone else up to the WBMFC?