War & Peace: The Shorter Story

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On this day of love, I want to write about war and peace. I’m not big into politics, government, or geography, but you can’t help but notice how much warring is going on around us. I have to wonder how the whole war thing started, and how it relates to the issues at hand. It seems to me like a fairly ridiculous method of problem solving.

Let’s put it into simple perspective. Let’s say that when I was 5 and my brother was 7, I wanted his Legos. After arguing about it, I decide the next best thing to do would be to chuck a grenade his way so I could get the Legos. So I chuck the grenade. Except I don’t get the Legos, because there are no Legos left. They are all blown to bits. So is my brother. So is the bedroom, the house, and the surrounding neighbor’s houses, and all that live within. And so am I. But, yay, I win, right?

So, war is weird. I want your land, so I start slinging ammo at you, and if I live through the fight, I get the now barren land, with no one left to share it with. Yay, me! Or I don’t agree with your beliefs, so I start slinging ammo at you until you and most of your kind are blown to bits, and most of my kind are blown to bits. There. That solved it, right? No one will ever believe differently than I do ever again, right?

But it’s not just war itself that is a strange concept. Consider the cease fire. I’m angry enough with you to be blowing you and everyone around you to bits, destroying the people, the land, the air, and the sea, until I get what I want. But then, someone talks me into calling a truce for a bit. So we designate a time at which we will stop firing at each other. And then, after the agreed upon amount of time, we start killing each other again.

Hmmm. If we can agree to stop for a bit, why can’t we agree to stop for good? And if we’ve agreed on a time to start the cease fire, why can’t we just stop immediately? Why do we have to wait the 4 or 5 days until the agreed upon time? That just seems ridiculous! And in those hours or days that we are “at peace” amidst our raging war with each other, what do we think about? What do we do? Clean up the mess? Bury the dead? Stock up on fresh ammo? Have a few cocktails, smoke a few cigarettes and tell a few bad war jokes? And then, “Oh, it’s time…let’s get back to it.”

Why didn’t anyone think this through before they started warring? There has to be a better way to live together on this planet.

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One response »

  1. The problem is that not everyone wants to live together on this planet. People, convinced that their viewpoint is the only right one, resort to violence to obtain what they want or achieve their goals when they believe that the other guy is in the wrong. You’ve got your Crusaders, Nazis, Jihadists, Fascists, Ethnic Cleansers and so on. And they all believed sincerely that they were right. For that matter, sometimes the group starting the war is the perceived good guy–American Revolutionaries, for example. And sometimes, some aspects of war can actually do some good–like the liberation of concentration camps. So long as there are humans who have differing viewpoints, there will be war of some kind and it will alway be seen as senseless by outsiders, but necessary by insiders. And by the way, I didn’t know you were so obsessed with Legos!

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