The 'Turning Point' Has Yet to Come

This is how I practiced for Turning Point 3 yesterday: surrounded by my excellent colleagues, all looking at one another, like we do during social events where we are all called on to toast an event that must be commemorated.

Shy smiles, roving glances, standing in groups defined by shared office space, socially clinging to each other, stealing nervous peeks at the clock, cracking fingers, waiting for the bell to end the ceremony - the forgettable event in the dark basement.

It evokes nostalgia for the routine usurped by one of those social obligations an adult suffers in silent surrender. Soon the physical education instructor will tell everyone to go to class, and one child will seize the opportunity and cut through the fence toward home. Another child will tattle. Life in peace time.

There was no tension incumbent with anticipation. There was no imaginary threat, such as the Syrians attacking, the Iranians launching masses of Shihab missiles, or even the land opening up and swallowing all of us into the ground.

No, Turning Point 3 passed over us nonchalantly. Another tax that must be paid to the country. Certainly no "war game." This was no simulation for the time when you would really be called upon to save someone's life. That day, chaos will prevail. Pulses will rise a hundredfold, blood will course through your veins and the prevalent thought in your head will be: "Is this the place and time, and mostly, the people, with whom my life will be ending? God! How stupid?!"

In uniform, the cliche is "the harder you train, the easier it will be in battle." And what does that mean when the training is super easy? What happens during battle? Here is your turning point: a real emergency, sirens in your brain, a survival instinct that kicks out any sleepy sense of laziness. And mostly forgetfulness - about all those things we did not learn yesterday.