In the Yellow Bird’s, war changes the lives of many soldiers. PTSD is an outcome of the war. While the world remains ignorant to the war’s side effects, the soldiers continue to experience a change that will change their lives forever. There should be sympathy and understanding in the heart of every American when there’s a discussion of people at war.
“I was not surprised by the cruelty of my ambivalence back then. Nothing seemed more natural than someone getting killed... I had to see the world with clear eyes, to focus on the essential. We only pay attention to the rare things, and death was not rare.” p.11 People at war are stripped of morals and codes that they were taught at a young age. When in war, what’s wrong becomes right and what’s right becomes wrong. Killing is wrong, any type of violence is. Love is taught to be given to everyone, including your enemies because it’s the right thing to do. People at war are not allowed to have a heart or to show emotions because when they do, they show weakness, they’re supposed to be ruthless and be able to kill when demanded. For some, holding a gun is scary enough, but asking them to pull the trigger is another story. When Americans look at people who have been in war, compassion should be racing through their hearts because the soldiers did it so no one else had to. If soldiers were given sympathy, that would show that there is understanding. Having someone understand what you’ve been through can go a long way.
“As human beings, we have the blessing and the curse that we’re able to adapt to almost anything. No matter how extreme the circumstances you’re in, they become normal.” Because humans adapt, they don't understand. At one point, after readapting and readapting, humans stop. Some soldiers become adapted to the war lifestyle, so when they come home they can no longer readapt. As people try to understand people in war, they often figure out that war is something that needs to be experienced to understand. Once given the opportunity to walk a mile in their shoes, then there will be an understanding.
“I realized, as I stood there in the church, that there was a sharp distinction between what was remembered, what was told , and what was true. And I didn’t think I’d ever figure out which was which.” PTSD gives soldiers a fight or flight instinct caused by fear that’s stuck in their heads from war. This feeling that they have comes, even when they may not be in danger which may make them seem crazy. It comes with experience from physical harm.
“I wonder why people are the way they are. I wonder how do we justify the things that we do, because it always seems like we are doing terrible things. But the stories that we tell ourselves are always about our goodness and our idealism and that contradiction has been interesting to me throughout my whole life.” Humans try to come up with an explanation for everything. They’re always trying to fix something. Some things in life just can't be fixed. Life does not owe anyone an explanation, somethings you can only wonder why they happen.
There should be sympathy and understanding in the heart of every American when there’s a discussion of people at war. They do they job no one else wants to do. To label them as crazy is wrong, they should only be labeled heroic.
From a small child, I was always told to reach for the stars. “You can do anything you want in life, you just have to want it and work for it.” I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I was 9. At nine years old, you don’t the variety of jobs that are offered in the world. “I wanna work at McDonalds, it’s my favorite fast food restaurant.”
The conversation stopped. “You wanna struggle your whole life?
“You won’t even be able to support your family?”
Questions were being thrown at me. I’m just a kid, I don’t understand what I’m saying and why I’m saying. I honestly thought people at McDonalds were very kind people. Who else wants to stand at a window and wait on people. Jobs like this should be appreciated, not shunned upon.
I remember when my brother said he wanted to be a cop. My mom wanted to know why none of us wanted to be a doctor. She said McDonalds workers aren’t paid enough and being a cop is a dangerous job. All of a sudden, that statement about being whatever we want turns out to be false.
You can be anything that isn’t a danger and pays well. Society has conjured up what is an acceptable job and what isn’t. Everyone plays a part in the way the world is now, but before you can play a part, you have to find a part. In The Yellow Birds, the main character found his part in becoming a soldier.
Bartle forgot the importance if his role. He began to build a friendship with Murphy. He promised his mother that he would bring Murphy back safe and sound. The thing about promises is that you can’t make one unless it’s something you can control, you can't control death and who it strikes. That’s what the world revolves around; control. Some are born with control, some are born without it. People can’t control what they’re born into but they can control what they do with it and whether they want to work a McDonald’s job or be a doctor, it’s their decision. They should be appreciated regardless.