I remember I was in 8th grade when President Bush first announced we were going to war. In my social studies class, my teacher asked who agreed with the war. Every single one of my classmates raised their hands except for me. I shook my head, stood up at my desk and proudly announced “I do not believe in war. It takes more strength to find peace then fight a cause we are not even clear about”. Everyone condemned me for being unpatriotic but I did not care… even at the ripe age of 12 I knew war was not the answer.
Now, almost 9 years later, there are very few who still believe we should have entered that war. I am not going to get into the politics of it all here, but I know there had to have been a better way to deal with all of it then engage in war that cost us $750 BILLION dollars, 4,500 dead America soldiers and over 100,000 CIVILIAN deaths.
In my humble opinion, the War in Iraq is a clear illustration of what happens when we make decisions based on fear and hate.
Tara Brach speaks of a story that I cannot seem to find at the moment but to paraphrase, there is a tombstone of a dead soldier that says something of this nature “if you knew me and you really knew yourself, you would not have killed me”
When we look at others as “others”, we forget that everyone is facing the same problems. Everyone just wants to find happiness and peace. We are all scared of the same things and wish for love and to be seen.
We engage in war with the people around us every day that we act in unloving ways. Every time we act in fear and hate, we fail to acknowledge the good in ourselves and in others. We MUST remember that we have a choice every minute of every day to acknowledge our hurt and then act rather than react.
I know I am oversimplifying a very complicated matter. But the essence of it is the basic, if all of us act more consciously there is no doubt the world would be a much better place. And it all starts with one choice at a time. One decision to choose love over hate makes all the difference.