November 22     

Today's quotation:

War may sometimes be a necessary evil.  But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good.  We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.

Jimmy Carter

Today's Meditation:

We fool ourselves into thinking that there are such things as "necessary wars."  If another country invades ours, then it may be necessary for us to defend ourselves or our allies, but that doesn't make the war necessary-- the original invasion never should have happened.  As Jimmy says, it's a "necessary evil," not a necessary war.  Wars are generally started by politicians or monarchs who don't have the creativity to find other more effective ways of dealing with problems with other nations.

The people who actually die in the wars are almost never the people who actually start them.  They are our children, our neighbor's children, and the children of the people who live far from us.  And they're killing each other, not those who are responsible for the conditions that started the war.

It's important that we see war for what it is:  evil.  If we do this, we'll be much less likely to support our country-- or any other country, for that matter-- in going to war.  If more of us did this, we'd be more likely to search for peaceful alternatives for solving our problems.  Often, the strongest supporters of war are those people who would most profit from war, and we can't let potential profit determine how many of our young are going to die useless deaths in foreign lands.

Very few of us have direct influence over whether wars are going to be fought, but when more of us share a common vision of a warless existence, the chances of preventing war grow considerably.  Let us stay opposed to war, and let us teach others the futility of war, and the great cost that can never be measured in dollars or profit.  While we may understand the occasional evil that may be necessary to defend ourselves, we cannot sanction war for any reason other to defend ourselves or our allies.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people support so many wars?  What is gained through war for the many?

Why is it necessary for those who are waging war to spend so much time and money producing propaganda supporting the war?

Why are we so often so accepting of war?

For further thought:

I hate war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatreds it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in the place of democracies, and for the starvation that stalks after it.  I hate war, and never again will I sanction or support another.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

more thoughts and ideas on war



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