War has tragically been a persistent disease plaguing human society for as long as recorded history. Most of us have come to accept war as a necessary part of the human experience, but is that really the case? Worldwide peace may seem like an impossible fantasy only existing in the minds of the naïve but is that really the case?
Just because things have been a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean they must stay that way forever. Change is a constant process. While we should all take lessons from history, it is a fallacy to believe that the future must be reflective of the past. All of the technology we have today would have seemed impossible to people living 100 years ago. It is undeniable that the world even 50 years from now will be vastly different from the world we live in today.
To all of you reading this I ask you to consider this question: is it not ridiculous to accept that a species that has figured out how to shape the world in ways no creature has done before, that has used innovation to overcome physical limitations to traverse the land, sea, sky and even space is somehow unable to figure out how to live in peace without killing one another?
When it comes to creating more efficient ways of killing one another we seemingly have an endless supply of genius and resources. If even half of the effort that has been put into creating the nuclear bomb and all the other incredible weapons were instead put into solving collective issues how different would the world be? It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be better than this.
We get fooled into fighting wars over nonsense. We are brainwashed into believing that our fellow humans are “evil” by propaganda and fear mongering. We are then told that the only way to stop the “bad guys” is for the “good guys” to go and kill them. This dehumanization of the other side is how tyrants convince honorable men and women to commit atrocious acts they would have otherwise never considered doing.
The reality is not nearly that simple. Both sides of every war ever fought viewed themselves as being on the right side of the conflict. The only real result of war is more suffering for all involved. That suffering then turns into hate, which leads to people acting out against those they feel are responsible for their suffering. This is why drone strikes result in creating more terrorists than they eliminate, and why terrorist attacks result in more drone strikes. That is the root of the cycle of violence.
If we are ever going to live in peace we must break that cycle. To do this we must all overcome our instinctive urges to react to violence with violence, and our disposition to tribalism. We must realize our collective humanity and stop looking upon the lives of others as less valuable because they are of a different race, religion, or nationality. We all have a lot more in common with one another than we have differences. Realize that people all feel the same emotions regardless of any of those superficial, trivial differences that have been emphasized to turn us against one another.
To put it simply, if we want to break the cycle of violence and create a better world for us all we need to fight one final battle. This battle must be against the greatest, most persistent enemy humanity has ever known. This enemy can’t be killed with weapons; no matter how powerful they only serve to strengthen it. This enemy has persisted through time, surviving through and being passed on by our ancestors. It exists within us all, and uses us to strengthen and spread itself. This enemy goes by many names, it is what some people refer to it as the “devil” others simply call it inherent evil. This may be the greatest enemy ever faced by humanity, but it can be defeated. Not by killing people we view as evil (thus becoming evil ourselves) but by attacking the ideals of hate and violence themselves.
Until we wake up and finally decide to focus on eliminating the ideals that cause evil acts we are doomed to keep repeating the same cycle of violence until we inevitably destroy ourselves. With the power of today’s weaponry we may not have much longer to change before it’s too late. Now more than ever it is necessary for us to stand together and break this cycle. This battle won’t be won by any government, interest group or army, but by humanity collectively. We are all responsible for the state of the world we live in; it’s time to stand up and take that responsibility seriously.