I have been feeling a lot of anger lately over the many conflicts in the world, the many wars. I have been feeling that unless mankind learns to handle our differences civilly and without violence, we will be our own end. The environment is groaning because of our greedy misuse, and with the factor of war added in, it starts to rapidly decline.
I have heard reports of the conflict on the Gaza Strip, and I know there are justifications on both sides for the continued dropping of bombs. One is the occupied, and the other is the occupier. Both are harassing each other. I know how I would feel if my freedom were taken away: I couldn’t feed my family and I couldn’t get proper medical care. I would feel desperate.
I know also how I would feel if I had to run to a shelter every day, my neighbor’s child was killed by a terrorist’s bomb, or the place I go to shop was blown up by a suicide bomber. I would want revenge.
I understand the anger on both sides. However, from the perspective of an outsider, I wonder if there is any other way to solve these problems than by the dropping of bombs and the use of white phosphorous. When you bomb your enemy, you create more enemies for generations to come.
So it is on both sides: hatred and violence fueled by a seeking of retribution for the killing of innocents. The sad thing about that is that when you become the aggressor, you become like the very enemy you detest. You become enmeshed in the tar of distaste by killing innocent children, women . . . ? civilians that appear a lot like the ones you lost. And where is the end to revenge?
It is a faulty premise to assume that if you hit your enemy with an iron fist so severe as to insure your enemy cannot retaliate, your enemy will not retaliate.
I heard an argument recently that intrigued me. Instead of isolating and imprisoning your foes, why not talk to them and include them into your society? That way you could get to know each other and learn to live together. We have the same problem here in America. We want to isolate ourselves from those “others” across the border, across the sea, in our own cities across the tracks and in the ghettos.
Until we realize that those of us that we choose not to see are also our brothers, we will always be in conflict, because that person wants what you want, an equal chance at the resources that provide you with a good quality of life. If this man cannot feed his family, cannot safely educate his children, and cannot safely get needed medical care, this man will more than likely become your enemy. If this woman finds that each of her children dies a violent death, she will not only help your enemy but take up arms herself.
People do not easily accept a lesser status in society while they see others doing well. They begin to think that they should have what you have, and they will seek to obtain it. What are we going to do with that fact?
How can I feel satisfied with my level of comfort when others are suffering so much? We must find a way to include others in our prosperity and well being; and believe me, a warm bed, a dry roof, and plenty of food are prosperity enough for some. Can’t we at least share that much?
Can’t we also provide the same level of safety and education that we enjoy and have access to? Can’t we rise above ourselves and live peacefully by negotiation and dialogue rather than by the use of weapons and bombs?
There are no righteous wars, only a descending into depravity by continuing to kill, murder, and maim innocents in the effort to obtain land, resources, and political advantage. Shame on us until we learn to live in peace and communicate even with those we find the most distasteful; because until we do, we are doomed to extinction at our own hands.