Thursday, January 26, 2006

Teach peace, not war

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
- Jose Narosky, writer

After 14,000 years of human civilization, we are just now coming to the point of taking responsibility for the "wounds" to soldiers who return from fighting in wars with all of their body parts intact.

Even that is only just beginning in a few Western countries, specifically the United States and the UK (though France and some smaller European countries are learning heavily in that direction).

Soldiers are taught to live in the worst of living conditions and to kill whomever they perceive to be "the enemy." Neither of these conditions would be remotely acceptable in peacetime or even in the warring home countries of the soldiers when there is no fighting at home.

Previously, soldiers who were taught to kill the enemy on sight (or even to destroy the places where they believe their enemy might be staying--many innocent civilians died in the process) came home and were expected to adapt to the norms of their society instantly.

They couldn't, which resulted in a large majority of ex-soldiers succumbing to alcoholism, drug addiction or participation in paramilitary or organized crime outfits.

Thus, once a war was over, the "winner" often could not be identified easily from the "loser" because both countries were heavily infected with anti-social elements, which often resulted in subsequent wars. Many countries of the world routinely participated in at least one war per generation for untold centuries.

How can this bring about progress of civilization? It can't. It's like trying to stop a speeding automobile in which you are travelling by holding your leg out the door and dragging your foot on the road surface. The vehicle doesn't slow much and you lose your foot.

There is only one way to stop the cycle of war. That is by educating the people of as many countries of the world as possible that peace must always be the objective, the only choice.

People believe what they are taught, as witnessed by the success of pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies that advertise heavily to achieve financial bonanzas, and even militant religious sects that teach that suicide bombing or terrorism will earn the perpetrators prime places in heaven.

Let's teach peace. They will learn if we teach enough people. We have the United Nations that could introduce this within its General Assembly.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving toward the motto:
Teach right, teach good, teach peace.
Learn more at

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