What ever happened to Elmer Kidd?
” In your society, it is generally thought that a person must have a decent livelihood, a family or other close relationships, good health, and a sense of belonging if the individual is to be at all productive, happy or content.
Better social programming, greater job opportunities, health plans or urban projects, are often considered the means that will bring fulfilment “to the masses”. Little if anything is said about the personality’s innate need to feel that his life has purpose and meaning. Little is said about the personality’s innate desire for drama, the kind of inner spiritual drama in which an individual can feel part of a purpose that is his own, and yet is greater than himself.
There is a need within man to feel and express heroic impulses. His true instincts lead him spontaneously toward the desire to better the quality of his own life and that of others. He must see himself as a force in the world.”
(The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events – A Seth Book by Jane Roberts, Amber Allen Publishing 1995)
I was inspired to write after reading the above excerpt originally channelled by Jane Roberts during the late 1970’s, thinking that it would make a really good opening quote for a blog post. It struck a chord with me.
We are all bombarded these days with expectations to be someone, to achieve something, to think a certain way, to somehow leave a legacy, or a mark of our time here as human beings. But as Seth/Jane Roberts rightly says, very little attention is paid to our personal wellbeing. To our own desires and needs to be valued as the people that we are, whether we tick all the social boxes or not. I’m not going to quote statistics here as would be customary in a ‘good’ well researched article, because it would go entirely against the point I am trying to make. What people say and feel and wish to express and share should be valued on its own merit, without needing justification through academic accolade. I don’t speak just for myself here, but for countless others in our world that feel that their lives are worth no more than a numerical reference in the ‘society’ within which they, and we exist.
Whether it is to do with our age, our gross annual income, the amount of children we have or not. How heavy we are, how many times a day we brush our teeth, or how well we do academically. It’s like living in a perpetual game show where a person’s worth is measured by the score they achieve. It’s painfully sad I think, however, we are all subject to it and actively cultivate it to one degree or another because it’s what we are used to, it’s how we have been conditioned through our collective social upbringing. For many of us we are a product of a society that values scientific reasoning over intuition, imagination and creativity, and not least emotional health and wellbeing. The burning question then,for me at least is, why do I consciously subscribe to this way of thinking when I know it does me no good, and when it actively limits my potential to be everything that I can be? Why do any of us?
As I sat pondering this, a voice in my head asked the following question:
” What ever happened to Elmer Kidd?” (I saw the question before me in print and the name was exactly as it is presented here.)
Feeling that this was going to be relevant in some way (as these things usually are for me), and possibly provide me with a valuable insight, I thought I would pose the same question in the internet search box. I was intrigued at what I found at the top of the search list:
As I read the article on Syracuse.com I discovered that Corporal Elmer Kidd was killed in action during the Korean war in 1950 at age 26. However his body was never recovered, and thus the search for his remains began. It wasn’t until the North Korean government returned hundreds of skeletal fragments to the US during the early half of the 1990’s, could a scientific search begin through DNA testing, and the mystery of Cpl. Elmer Kidd could finally be solved. Through painstaking analysis and testing, his remains were rather amazingly recovered, pieced together and eventually laid to rest on home ground. He was buried with full honours on the 9th November 2012, just outside his hometown of Seneca Falls, New York. There was a photograph of the young Corporal in uniform in the article, and for a moment I could imagine him smiling a half-smile, pleased that I had made the connection.
The cost of searching for Elmer Kidd must have been exorbitant, however this is not what we pay attention to in such a story. The numbers become irrelevant and it is the sense of completion and reunion, the story of a person whose life was valuable and still is valuable to his family and everyone who comes across his story that is of importance.
I wondered why he might have enlisted in the first place? What choices lead him to make such a social statement that would have such an impact so many years later, whether he was consciously aware of it or not?
For a long time Cpl. Elmer Kidd was just a number. One of the many hundreds of soldiers that perished during the Korean War. But through the persistence and love of his family his life and his identity have been kept alive through memory.
The excerpt below is the continuation of the excerpt at the beginning of this piece:
” People die for ‘a cause’ only when they have found no cause to live by. And when it seems that the world is devoid of meaning, then some people will make a certain kind of statement through the circumstances connected with their own deaths.”
This was interesting I thought, reading this after having come across the article on the internet and realising how uncannily relevant it was. I considered what the young Elmer Kidd’s outlook on his own life and his own fate might have been before he chose to enlist. Although I am by no means implying here that Elmer Kidd might have felt that he had no reason to live, but rather that he sought fulfilment in the way that seemed most appropriate to him at the time. I believe that people who literally put themselves in the line of fire have an immense passion for life and to live, because it takes a lot of bravado and self-confidence, and a strong sense of purpose to willingly put yourself in that situation. And I agree with Seth/Jane Roberts that such acts in life are a way of making a statement about who you are as an individual and how that reflects in our collective society. We call such people heroes for a reason, because it takes an extraordinary person to act on such impulses.
I suppose through his extraordinary circumstances, Corporal Elmer Kidd did exactly that. He made a statement about the state of affairs during his time, and continues to do so many decades after his passing. Also it is my belief and my experience that when life becomes very prescriptive people make extreme decisions in order to add meaning and value to their lives, and to give voice to their existence as individuals, again in agreement with Seth/Jane Roberts.
The message here then, having dawned on me a while after, is that every life has meaning. It seems an obvious statement to make, yet it’s interesting how it seems to elude even the best of us. It’s difficult to fathom what such an illusive statement actually means, and how it identifies us. I believe that what Cpl.Elmer Kidd was trying to tell me here was that our lives have meaning way beyond the scope of our usual insular perspective of life. That our lives continue to be meaningful even beyond death for us all, whether we think so or not. Think of how you remember loved ones that have passed, their voices and their invaluable advice somehow never leave you. Think of how your own descendants will remember you, and how you are remembered now as you live and breathe.
I suppose we might view life as a platform for self-expression, where there are certain rules that we choose to play by, that to an extent we seem to have very little choice but to abide by, due to the physical nature of things. Yet we do have utter freedom outside of the field of physical perception – thought, imagination, dreams, emotion. All of these ‘scientifically’ non-physical states in fact precede our physical actions. There is nothing we do in this world that we don’t first consider and think through. But because of the nature of physical reality some of our creative thoughts have to be squeezed into the often tight shoe that is physical existence and life, invariably limiting their full expression. In the same vein that even though you can imagine, or dream of flying from the top of a building, chances are if you tried it within the constraints of physical reality you would indeed plummet to what many might consider an untimely death!
It’s our ability to think beyond the ‘obvious’ physical limitations that makes us unique and drives us forward to seek new experiences.
We are all extraordinary people, capable of achieving great things, and I guess it’s a case of separating the fact from the fiction. By that I mean, deciding for yourself what works and doesn’t work based upon your own experience rather than subscribing and submitting to somebody else’s rules because it’s ‘the done thing’.Yes there is a certain amount of compliance involved in cohabiting with the rest of the world, but you do not have to do so at the expense of your emotional well-being. Decide for yourself how you would like to be referred to and remembered, number 57 or Jo Blogs? Perhaps neither, however I think I have made my point.
This is an issue that weighs particularly heavily on my mind because of the beliefs that I have and the work that I do as an Intuitive. I have grown up with the ‘standard issue’ belief system prevalent in Northern Europe and generally in the ‘West’, yet I have also maintained and developed my own beliefs quite separate from those expected of me. Reconciling the two can be cause for headache at times, and indeed raises as many questions as it causes conflicts. But I am quite clear that my life has purpose, and that it is my choice what happens to it and in it, and that my not being here would have a deep impact, not least for my family but for the world that I help populate and create. The reason I do what I do is because I believe and I understand that it is important to remember and to be remembered.