By Johann Christoph Arnold

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Her outspokenness and her ability to call a spade a spade rattled some people, but many (teenagers and young adults, in particular) found in her a warm-hearted and trustworthy friend. Though at times she battled bouts of severe depression and felt cut off from those around her, she never surrendered to her fears. For her, there was only one option: life. In 1995, at the age of fifty-three, Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer. A first round of chemotherapy resulted in remission, but in March 1998 the cancer returned.

I was unwilling to sanction the horrors of war, 48 Drained what you really, really want so I had decided to register as a conscientious objector. When I told my boss, he pointed out that the firm was now making bullets instead of pipes and paint, and that my stand wouldn’t quite go together with the company’s. I was in shock, and can still remember that weekend as if it were today –the hours spent trying to discern what I should do. I couldn’t honestly carry on with my job, but to leave it seemed unthinkable too.

A friend of mine was going through similar tensions at this time. However, finding no solid basis on which to stake his refusal to take part in the war, he later changed his mind and joined the Royal Air Force. That weekend – when I had to choose whether I was going to be true to what I believed about war, and act on it, or go on with life as usual – was decisive for me. It cost me many sleepless hours, but finally I knew what I had to do: give up my job. It seems a very small thing now, but it was very big for me then.

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