Getting Off the Wheel
For thousands of years,
human history has been punctuated by a continuous chain of aggression, conflict
and wars. These conflagrations are far
too numerous to effectively catalog without requiring documentation on such a
massive scale that it would be more than enough to depress even the most stoic
and dispassionate of historians. Some of
these conflicts span decades due to a seemingly endless cycle of aggression
followed by violent retaliation and retribution that inspires the adversary to
further atrocities and on and on it goes until either side or both are so
decimated and exhausted by conflict that the hostilities end. This cessation of hostilities does not
preclude, however, the possibility that the conflict would be reignited at some
future time. This story is all too
familiar and the human cost is staggering beyond imagination. It has been estimated that World War II alone
resulted in the loss of 50 million human lives worldwide.
What needs to happen for
this cycle to be finally and irrevocably broken? This is a question repeatedly asked by those
who have actively pursued peace and social justice over the centuries. The answer remains elusive. Having this discussion is vitally important
if the species is to endure for a prolonged period of time especially given the
strain on natural resources on planet earth created by the material needs of a
population of over 7 billion individuals - a population that continues to grow
and further increase the pressure placed on those essentials for survival –
clean water, clean air, shelter and adequate nutrition. These issues are enormous and do not include
the ramifications of unchecked climate change as a result of the combustion of
so-called “fossil fuels.”
In my opinion, in order
to radically change the trajectory of human history, transformation must be
approached from within. It is the cultural
and societal assumptions that we have all been taught to adhere to - whether through
overt or more subtle means – that must be examined and ultimately reformed. It is through self-discipline and
self-analysis that individuals can examine their motivations and more accurately
define the internal forces that drive them.
It is through such a process that raw emotions - through which rage and
aggression operate – can be successfully constrained and ultimately supplanted by
reasoned judgment and tempered by love.
This process is not foreign
to human experience. Quite to the
contrary, we have witnessed within the current era the evolution of thinking
and behavior around the areas of race, women’s issues and matters relating to
sexual preference. It is my fondest hope
and expectation that over time – the time required in this instance may be
considerable – humanity will discard the pernicious idea that conflict is
resolvable through violent means and embrace peace as being an integral and
necessary part of the human experience.
When this transformation actually occurs, then and only then will social
justice and true equality of all persons be an undeniable reality.
Not realistically stating that war is good because it battles our superfluous and cumbersome sexual consequences, though having my own son and at the age of 18 at birth, I believe that we can achieve a greater peace through a ever changing system of tradition for the goodwill of our existing humanity.
Speaking deeper, if life means anything there must be some kind of collective, or superior consciousness or soul that we originate from which protects everything good in life preserving forever in the stars that we stare at so.
Very good, thought provoking post. Now that's inspiration!
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