The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

WAR AND PEACE

When we hate someone we are engaging in war.  We might describe this war as a dispute, a vendetta, a retaliation or a feud.  But when you get enough people feeling the same way not about another individual but about a group of similar individuals you now have a full fledged war with rockets and drone planes and assault rifles and atomic weapons on your hands.

In other words, what we call war is merely the aggregate expression of the anger and hatred of a collection of individuals towards another collection of individuals.  So to stop having wars, we each of us, have to stop being hateful.  Of course, this is easier said than done and if I had invented the magic pill to enable us to do that I would certainly be the most lauded person on our little pebble in space.

Let me say that I earnestly believe that we must each do our part to bring peace to our world.  We cannot leave it up to anyone else because there is no one else who’s actions we can control other than our own.  And if we don’t set a peaceful example through our dealings with others, our words are mere rhetoric and unabashed sophistry.

This is an example of the fundamental principle of taking responsibility for our actions.  The same principle applies to everything in our lives – whether we are willing to admit that or not.  As long as we are in denial about where both the praise should be offered and the blame should be placed, we primarily do ourselves a disservice but it is one which also affects our friends, our families, our neighbors and, ultimately, the entire world.

I am now nearing my 500th post in a little more than a year.  I happened to look through the statistics of the tags I have used in these posts which were most frequently used in searches by prospective readers.  I thought the list was interesting.  The top searches were:

Values

Responsibility

Common Sense

Attitude

Honesty

Apparently, there are at least a few of us who are grappling to find answers to many of the complex issues which we confront – and which, in large measure we have caused.

If we do not approach our lives with a standard of values, it is hard to claim responsibility for our successes but easy to dismiss our failures.

If we do not approach our activities using basic common sense we arrive at solutions which simply don’t work.

If we do not have an attitude of caring and compassion, it is easy to find the fault in another while ignoring our own failings.

And if we are not honest, we have simply built our lives into a house of cards that will inevitably fall, often taking down those around us as well as ourselves.

Making choices can sometimes be difficult.  But if you think about this one, it really is quite simple.

Would you choose death or life?  Do you choose war or peace?

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Comments on: "WAR AND PEACE" (4)

  1. And on a related point, are we standing for what is morally right in a peaceful, Christian manner, or are we giving the impression that we hate actual people instead of just despising behaviors? Thanks for the food for thought. Peace be with you — Kelly

  2. Had it not been for the example of faith set by the early martyrs, the growth of Christianity might have taken a far slower path in gaining converts. I believe we are likely to see a new resurgence in the faithful – for the same reason.

  3. I truly enjoyed your article and what follows are a few thoughts that sprung to mind as I read your post. I found it immediately inspiring and thank you for your efforts. I also congratulate you on your landmark of 500 quality postings as a blogger. I know that I am truly grateful for having found your oasis in cyberspace.

    Your top search tags, Values, Responsibility, Common Sense, Attitude, Honesty could be summed up as respect for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. One who appreciates values appreciates the necessity to act responsibly in order to keep these natural rights for oneself and for society as a whole. Once people are accepted as equals when they shirk their responsibility to stand on their own by choice [as opposed to circumstance], common sense would tell us that others will soon follow, eventually in every increasing numbers. As others join over time in what has now become a universally accepted dependency, values shift, responsibility becomes little more than a word or a concept, foreign to many, and attitude shifts from one of self-sufficiency in the pursuit of dreams to dependency in pursuit of a life less lived than survived. It become a life of self-deception and dishonest with society at large and it culminates, generally, in a life that passes nearly unnoticed.

    Our founders weren’t always the best examples of what they prescribed for us to follow and I suspect they prescribed what they did hoping that we would aspire to build on their legacy, not in opposition to it. For example, many of them had strong anti-slavery sentiments, but did little to put an end to slavery by attempting to define Africans held as slaves as men. Instead, for lack of political courage or fearing a split before the nation could be officially born, they opted to continue to allow their African slaves to be viewed as less than fully human and unequal in rights and protections.

    But, I suspect that in the back of the minds of many of those who participated in drafting the U.S. Constitution that they knew what they were doing was inhumane and wrong but were hopeful that as time wore on, those free persons who came later would right their wrongs as events, politics and the strength in unity of the new Republic allowed. The difficulty they had to overcome is evident in the fact that even after a bitterly fought civil war and the Emancipation Proclamation issued under President Lincoln, black continued to be treated unequally in open society and were subjected to horrific treatment without the same protections under the law granted to whites.

    Few mention the unequal treatment and protections that were withheld from Chinese or other Asian immigrants because they were not captured, sold, bought and held as slaves, but their treatment wasn’t that far from that afforded to blacks. This group was officially denied any opportunity at citizenship and many spent a lifetime of pain, suffering and humiliation, and to some degree are nearly demonized for their academic and economic achievements even in some segments of our current society in ways that parallel the up and down acceptance and the envy of the Jewish community’s successes; both real and imagined.

    People can be masters of self-deception and self-aggrandizement. People can also be masters of self-pity and other irrational behaviors. Most people recognize this but are unwilling to admit such characteristics in their own make up. Perhaps, people are searching those tags for the reasons you suggest. Perhaps, in addition, they are also searching them looking for some form of self-help. Perhaps they know they are far afield from vision of an informed and active electorate composed of individuals who held liberty for all as the highest standard of mankind envisioned by those who gave us this great country. Perhaps, they are trying to reconcile that lack of purpose in their individual lives with the reality of what could have been had they pursued their vision and worked to overcome the challenges encountered in their pursuit. Perhaps, they discovered far too late that the pursuit of happiness did not guarantee happiness in life, but only the opportunity to attain it through hard work and commitment to one’s own rational self-interest. Perhaps they are only now coming to grips with the fact that the only way out of the morass we are now slogging through can only be overcome by each person doing his or her best and then taking advantage of the synergistic boom that comes from manifold individual efforts.

    Perhaps, people are coming to understand that the collective is just another bog that slows achievement initially and halts it ultimately to a state of stagnation where all are equally held in place by mud as opposed to discovering the many ways a bog can be transformed to a pasture if many were free to work independently and unencumbered on how to raise themselves up and to dry out the ground beneath their feet. Granted, some would find themselves deeper in the mud as it was shifted to raise the more industrious and visionary up, but ultimately, with relatively very little effort on the part of those others, one by one the work of those on the leading edge makes it possible for all to raise themselves up and to enjoy the greater liberty that comes with dry ground vs the equality of a muddy morass of collectivism.

  4. […] An American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It. The specific article is titled, War and Peace and the discussion ultimate gets around to a pivot on search tags, Values, Responsibility, Common […]

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