The Other

Easter Sunday we visited at the bunkers on the Oregon coast. The most profound epiphany I had for the day was war is stupid. Wasteful.  There’s nothing creative and life affirming about violence of any kind. It doesn’t matter who started it, which of us is the most right or wrong. We end up physically and emotionally maimed when we fight with each other at any level. Doesn’t matter the side we’re on, we’re just as deceased when we encounter the tools of the trade. I find no justification for war. If someone chooses to play at war, that’s their right and I frequently wonder if we’re fighting for the right or the right to be right. Someone will inevitably step up to defend the position of national ego and talk about which side bombed what side first in any conflict. Does any mother putting her son or daughter in the ground really care about a defensive position? Economics as a secondary impetus (religion is usually the first) and territory. I’m no talking head but it seems history is a great teacher if any of us would pay attention. War only succeeds when we turn our fellow human beings into Them to distance the other enough so we can stomach watching them die en masse on the six o’clock news. So where are the mothers and wives and sisters and daughters and aunties and grandmothers when the menfolk are out getting themselves slaughtered? We raise them. What are we teaching them? And now we’re joining them. In the struggle for equality as we shoulder our weapons, kiss our children goodbye and march off,  it’s possible we’ve become the worst of men instead of the best of women but finally equal enough to take life with the impunity of zealous justification. And before we point fingers, we don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes to engage in warfare. Vicariously in the constantly streaming media or raging with a spouse, child, or neighbor, we’re war and war is ignorant. Respect, reciprocity and communication make for interesting relationships, between individuals, groups and nations. For the first time in the history of the earth, we’re at a place where if we’re to survive as a species we must work and play together, learn to communicate no matter what our affiliation, for the good of every one of us. We are at the pivotal place in evolution where simply looking another human in the eyes, seeing them, acknowledging them and their right to live and have peace on the earth might be enough to save the planet, one other person at a time.