Friday, July 26, 2013

Man of Two Worlds

In an interesting twist, Beckley was asked to act as the liaison between the UAS (as a whole and for the locals, both) and the Union. Specifically Haven.

I can't think of a better person to help foster understanding between the camps. Not just because Beckley was originally from the UAS. Hell, that's the minority reason in my mind. The guy is pretty self-deprecating, but he's sharp as broken glass. He doesn't see himself as brave, not wanting to fight the undead because of his lack of experience, but I've seen him calmly sit between two violently angry people and act as the rational party to talk them down. Bravery isn't just for the battlefield. Therapists maybe just show it in other ways.

The man himself was surprised. Beckley is humble in ways that mystify me. He never saw the offer coming, mainly because he doesn't see himself as the kind of guy to accomplish great things. For all the glory many of us grant the fighters out there killing zombies or defending us from living enemies--deserved, no doubt--it's so easy to forget the way the world was, which is the way it's looking to be again.

Large groups of people form communities. Communities, like stars, clump together to form sets of communities. Those sets reach a critical density and nations form like galaxies. When those worlds collide, the forces tend to grind against each other. Look at all the wars in humanity's past. See all the other conflicts, too. Almost every problem large groups of people faced had people working to fix them on both sides. Men and women trying to create some understanding, a bit of common ground to stand and build on.

That's Beckley. He may not be a diplomat, and the UAS aren't, for the most part, our enemies, but that doesn't mean it isn't a challenge. We need unity of purpose now more than ever. There needs to be someone to move between who knows both sides and who can keep calm no matter how heated the argument. A different kind of bravery, as I said, but just as important. The stakes are just as high as any war.

I don't envy him his new place. My own experiences have mostly been ones without expectations. Being a voice of experience is much easier than having to keep both sides talking. Beckley will have to work under conditions where he has no real power but a lot of responsibility. I can't imagine doing it. Seems like a nightmare to me. But hey, he's happy. Proud, even. He knows the score and isn't showing much fear of dealing with the pressure. Me, I'd rather fight for my life every day. Give me zombies any time.

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