You start anchoring your boat 20 feet off shore … convenient. From the bow your mate screams:  “This is too close; I want privacy!!”  You shoot your partner between the eyes … in your mind. Cannot live without conflict can you? Most times compromise is reached. In a relationship peace and harmony survives if each is willing to yield … usually when the other feels stronger about an issue. You learn to ‘read’ each other and find common ground. Communicating truthfully as much as possible helps. Resolving differences quickly is important. Festering frustration can incubate into rage. Don’t want that!  If you and someone close wish a permanent bond, you must renew commitment and continually resolve differences. Jump back into ‘love mode’ even when making a tenuous peace. This should be your mutual refuge. After all, your relationship is the most important part of your life. But unfortunately this can be put in jeopardy by events in the larger world around you.

Confrontations, battles, war, centuries of mindless maiming and killing … this outrageous behavior has left a shameful legacy. In an attempt to ignore the atrocities, it is romanticized. Vehement condemnation would be more appropriate. What can be said of the primitive barbarity that led to the spilling of blood of over one hundred million people during the 20th Century? You do not want to contemplate the pain and suffering, the reality of arms, legs and faces being shattered. And for what? To rearrange who dominates for the benefit of future generations? To establish and maintain belief systems, political systems?

Without getting into who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s got the best system, you must always remember:  Your reason for existence is to grow through loving. What hinders this must be overcome. But you say “They want to kill us.”  “We must fight back.”  Certainly when the rocks start flying over your fence, you must respond. Fine. However, cultivating hate, anger and recriminations lead to hardened hearts … the worst catastrophe of all!!

You share a tiny globe in the universe. Each individual has a right to his or her life, a right to strive, to realize potentials. Your goal should always be peaceful coexistence. And whatever means it takes to accomplish this must be conscientiously and constantly sought. “Why bother” you say. “They hate us and that will never change.”  History has shown how absurd this notion is. World War II saw ‘Axis Powers’ in bitter conflict with ‘Allied Powers’. Today these combatants are united.

Change is a constant. Differences will always be resolved one way or another. To avoid more barbarity though, an intense dialogue must be pursued. There is always common ground on which to build mutual understanding, even trust. For instance over ninety percent of the human populace believes in God. Where better to start than discussing the shared awe of creativity? After all, every human being was created by the same deity or deities for the same purpose:  to love. Deep down everyone knows this … as well as they know that hating and killing is WRONG for whatever purpose.

Some may consider these ideas as Pollyanna. But what are the alternatives? In the past the mightiest and the most ruthless have vanquished their foes using weapons directed towards individuals or small groups. Lob a mortar into a trench or mine a ship. You might kill 20 or 30, maybe more. Today weapons of mass destruction can devastate large areas inflicting untold carnage. Millions could easily be wiped out in a nuclear assault on a large city. Biological and chemical discharges are equally formidable. Is the world willing to wait until this happens? Relying on threats of retaliation as a deterrent to such acts? Might a more enlightened approach to overcoming bitterness and misunderstanding be at least tried?

Unfortunately many world leaders have little respect for individual rights, diversity and unbiased wisdom. They thrive by perpetuating primitive, bellicose attitudes. They are doomed of course. Devastation will have a global impact. ‘Fallout’ will become everyone’s problem. The inter-dependence of all people will lead to benign accommodations. War will become anathema. Hopefully in your lifetime.



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