Returning from a cruise on the Mediterranean, I hopped a limo from the airport to my home. “Limo” is a word that takes on various shades of meaning. In this case, it is a large SUV which takes strangers who live in the same general area from the airport to their homes. The driver was a cross between an annoying game show host and cocky bus driver. Fortunately, he struck up a conversation with a mother and her young daughter who were returning home from a trip to see the girl’s father, a soldier stationed in Turkey. Given the situation in that part of the world, I thought that she was very brave. As the conversation progressed, I learned that that mother had once been in the armed service herself. Perhaps that is why she took her daughter to visit her dad in such a place.
Actually, Turkey is a great place to visit. My husband and I spent three weeks there many years ago. The mother and daughter had been able to do some sight-seeing. They particularly liked Capadoccia which is made up of sandstone caves where early Christians lived centuries ago. The geological shapes of weathered sandstone are unique in the world, I believe. Nevertheless, the mother admitted that the war raging across the border was never far from her mind. I did not ask whether or not she thought about the kidnappings that take place regularly in that part of the world. According to an article that I read last week, one of the sources of income for ISIS is ransom money from kidnappings.
The not-my-favorite limo driver changed the conversation to the new starting line-up of the local NFL team. I was left to reflect on the fact that indeed the cruise that I was on sailed dangerously close to the Mideast turmoil that has left so many people homeless. Should I be grateful that I had the discretionary income to take a Mediterranean cruise, or should I feel guilty enjoying myself close to such suffering?