War in Our Souls
Today I watched a show, part of a show, where people were given guns and threatened with the death of a loved one if they didn’t kill someone they were given a picture of, and I thought to myself how even apes are violent, and how boys, nearly all of us played “war”. We had “cap pistols” when I was a kid and we shot them “bang bang yer dead”…
I began to think about wars and how people would fight for their homeland, no matter what, even for slavery in the case of some of my ancestors, again all because of some sense of home and some sense of “safe culture”.
I then remembered someone who was friend of a friend who was a tank commander in World War II, on the side of the Nazis. He was a good man, he fought for his country, he didn’t know about the death camps. Then I thought about how our culture and our country turned away many Jewish fleeing Germany for their lives, of how we segregated our troops and persecuted Japanese Americans. Then I thought of the Muskogee experiment where they let some Black Americans die slowly of diseases they only pretended to treat, just to watch the “progress of the disease”. Then I thought of how we treated Native Americans, stealing their land after promises that the Cherokee could be a nation, and how we used germ warfare on their women and children on the infamous Trail of Tears.
Now we all have great celebrations of wars and honor our “war heroes” because they protected us and our way of life. Good and evil intermingling and none to stand back and wonder: “What’s wrong with us?”
When will we see all of humanity as our culture and our family? Barring the improbably attack of some alien attack from “outer space”, what can bring us together? Why should we even see another intelligent race as necessarily an enemy. Then I thought of E.T. the movie….
There seems to be a violence within us that needs to be conquered, but the universe and life itself seems to be created and born with competition and violence between many forces, all for the sake of “survival” of this group or that, this force or that.
Then I realized that we must fight, even for peace, but we don’t have to kill, we just have to take the battle within ourselves, and prefer to risk trusting the power of love. “Forgive to be forgiven, give to others and it will be given to you, pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who despitefully use you, bless them that curse you.” (All this from that guy that most see as a great guy: Jesus)
When will we start following this guy and not just being his fans? Better yet, when will we see that guy in who we are inside and follow our better “instincts”?
So, the next time we honor our war heroes, will we also honor those who refused to fight? Will we also honor the poor souls on every side of every war who seem to have been trapped in a human storm of insanity???
Communicating between love and trust, achieving real optimistic intelligence, being truly progressive, these are the things we must struggle to achieve. Then I see the battle of politics kept to elections and not placed into violent struggles, and I see our Democratic Party fighting for the more progressive views, but I will not honor sides I will praise where praise is deserved and be saddened where it is not, and never give up hope for my “enemies”, nor consider them not “redeemable”, nor fail to see the humanity in anyone, and begin where possible all of my speech with empathy and a love for the Kid in everyone. Why? Because the Kid in me is listening and feeling what I do to others.
David “Mitch” Sotelo