Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For a future to be possible

Does it seem to you, as it does to me, that for a future to be possible on this planet, we – each of us – has got to do something to turn things around so that a future is possible for our children, grandchildren and beyond?

“The day we stop killing off our own species,” writes Zoe Taylor of McClure Middle School in Seattle, WA, “our world will become a book with no more torn pages.” (Source: Wisdom Commons, That ought to be so obvious that no one would question it. Yet people go on killing each other every day in acts of war and vengeance.

Are there active movements where you live to reduce violence and the madness of war? If there are, what are they? If there aren’t, why not? What prevents such  movements from happening? Historian Andrew Bacevich has written that Americans are seduced by war (“The New American Militarism”). I am convinced that America and its citizens are seduced by violence. It’s in our militarism, our video games, our domestic relations, our language and in our gangs. Is this true where you live? What can you – can we – do to change this where we live? What are we willing to do.

For the first time in my life, I live in a country – Japan – that is committed to the peaceful means of solving conflicts. Nonviolence has been written into its Constitution since the end of World War Two. Does this mean that war thinking has ended? Not at all. It means that the nation, and its people are dedicated to seeking peaceful means to solving conflicts. Looking back at the horrors of World War Two, the Japanese people wanted nothing to do anymore with war and warmongers, and they have stuck resolutely by that and demanded that their politicians and military leaders do the same. (The last military officer to publicly rattle his sword, a four-star Air SDF general, was summarily fired from his job earlier this year and mustered out of the Self Defense Force.)

South Africa changed from a White controlled government to a racially inclusive government led by Nelson Mandela without the eruption of violence and hate that most people had predicted. And in Northern Ireland, in spite of occasional outbursts of sectarian violence, the people and their leaders seem committed to a peaceful future.

For a future to be possible we, as individuals, neighbors, communities and nations, must begin committing ourselves to beliefs, attitudes and activities that bring a peace that respects our differences.

What do you think?

All for this post,




Anonymous said...

Excellent post, enjoyable read.

Meam Wye said...

A very thought-provoking post. You are right in mentioning the video games as one of the sources of violence- what purpose does the near-real graphics of horrifying war scenes in these war 'games' serves - to make kids and teens emotionally immune and numb to the bloodshed and destruction of war? Unfortunately, these war related video games rank so high in popularity charts! This is quite disturbing.

Simon said...

Your words are so true George.The Anglo-Saxon method of conflict resolution is redundant.America has a written constitution,perhaps it is time to amend it.The right to bare arms is an anachronism from the days of the frontier.The UN must play a much more prominent role in arms reduction Worldwide.Unfortunately the military industrial complex across the World is resisting any suggestion of radical change.Sadly only another catastrophic military event that affects everybody is going to wake people up to finally take away the power of politicians to make war.

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