Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Cruel War is Raging!

I should explain that I am NOT anti soldiers!  I am grateful and proud of the men and women that serve in this way.  I'm also incredibly grateful for the strong women and men they leave behind.  My own Father was a veteran of World War II.  He was incredibly proud of the service he performed for his country.  On the other hand he did NOT wish to talk about the hand to hand combat, the friends that he saw shot, or blown up.  He wrote home in a letter, "Well, I have now seen war.  It is not something that I wish to talk about..."  The American flag meant something intrinsic and sacred to him.  It represented all of the lives of young men and women who died or were injured in war. 

To me, it seems that war is endless, and the lives of the soldiers, and their families are collateral damage.  

Each and every generation has war songs!  I am familiar only with the American variety, but I know that each and every land on the globe has their own war songs.  You know the songs, Civil War, "The Cruel War is Raging, Johnny has to go, how I want to go with him, no my love no..."

Every time that I have heard this song I envision a young woman singing.  In the American Civil War there were also older women singing.  These women might have six, seven, oh so many children at home, AND a farm to keep running.  Can you imagine with me how many women were sobbing into their pillows at night, trying to keep their fear and sorrow from their children?

War seems to have an initial appeal to young men.  Something about the strategy, the sense of protecting and serving.  I think that there should be one war when we only send the old men...the politicians behind the war.  Let's leave the young men behind to create a new generation.  If the old men have to fight...will war still be the answer?

There IS legitimate reason for war.  Battle should be in the situation where our homes, our faith, our people have been attacked.  Even then, shouldn't there be a better answer? 

Moving on to other American fight songs.  World War I brought, "Over there," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me," and other songs for marching, and fighting.

World War II had music, the Korean Conflict had music, the war in Vietnam had songs.  It seems as though every conflict that we face creates music.  "Billy Don't be a Hero," "Soldier Boy Oh My Little Soldier Boy,"  and one that gets my blood pumping, "War...What Is It Good For...."

There has not been a single moment in time in my entire life when there is nobody, in no land, in anywhere on the globe that is not fighting, and causing people to die.  I'M SICK OF IT!  Can't we finally now realize that war does NOT create peace?  That idea is ludicrous!  It's like the foolish idea of my childhood when one sibling punches the other sibling and the parent spanks them for hitting their sibling.  Or, "If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about!"

I placed a video on Youtube, CJ Smith, Where Have all the Flowers Gone.  It was originally sung by "Peter, Paul, and Mary."  The lyrics take us on journey of a circle.  It's a circle that I'm very familiar with, and oh how I wish that I could see it STOP in my lifetime!

There is one simple thing that we CAN do.  Let's teach our children how to focus on things that we have in common with others.  Let's STOP focusing on our differences.  Let's teach the newest generation ways and means to problem solve and negotiate, instead of choosing conflict as our first choice.  Wouldn't it be marvelous if we could create peace, even if it was just in our own sphere! 

I will end with a quote that has changed my life.  There was a time in my life when I was completely unable to do more than care for our children, and my husband.  The house work often did not get done, and I wasn't able to connect with family and friends beyond my little sphere.

One day I received a card in the mail from a friend. In the card was a bookmark, and this is what it said, "When you can't make waves, MAKE RIPPLES."  That's right, ripples, tiny, smooth water reactions to stimulus.  The ripples do NOT stay tiny.  No they spread outward, growing, and continuing out to the edge of the body of water.

Today, let's do our best to make those ripples.  When we are tempted to judge others harshly, or to quarrel with anyone in our families, let's make a conscientious choice for peace.  If we must communicate about issues that are controversial, let's do our best to take the emotional heat out of the discussion.

Let's not ever make the mistake of blaming our soldiers for the conflict in the world.  I respect and honor the contributions of our soldiers.  I would just wish that those old men that I spoke about before could work to find better solutions.     

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