15 September 2015

How is War Still a Thing?

If you look at human history and all the progress we’ve made, the technology, the infrastructure, the institutions, the various ways of communicating over enormous distances – instantaneously -  traveling into space, creating music, art – it’s pretty impressive. And yet – with all of this apparent evolution and progress, it’s hard to be optimistic about humanity’s history and legacy, because: there’s still this one huge nasty atrocity we keep doing, over and over again… we keep on waging wars.

This is the 21st century and war is still a thing we do – every day. It hasn’t been erased yet – we haven’t yet come to the day in time where we can say ‘wars – that’s a thing from the past – we remember it to make sure never to do it again’ – because it’s not, it’s part of our present and it looks like, part of our future too.

I’ve had many moments where I look at the news and get frustrated, horrified and mind-blown at the stupidity of war, the destruction, the senselessness – wanting to scream at those apparently ‘leading nations’ – WTF are you doing???

But is it that surprising really?

I mean – how can we expect continuous mutual cooperation, problem solving and conflict-prevention on an international and global level if that’s something we’re not living up to ourselves? Conflict PREVENTION – yes, you read that right – because for world peace to be the ‘new thing’ – we need to not only be able to master the art of conflict resolution, but also need to learn to prevent conflict, rather than waiting for conflict to manifest and then trying to ‘do something about it’. Conflict is nothing more than the manifestation and revealing of misalignments that were already present.

It is easy to blame politicians and diplomats for sucking at what they do – but in the context of ‘as above, so below’ – we’re all playing our part here – how often do we go into arguments with those around us, openly or behind their backs in the form of gossip and backchat? How often do we wait for ‘shit to hit the fan’ before we actually look at problems that we actually knew were there but conveniently chose to ignore? And when there is conflict, how often do we focus on solutions instead of sticking with our own self-interest, walking away or just wanting to ‘win’ the argument, regardless of the cost?

That is our responsibility on a purely personal level – but how about the following: if we are so frustrated with our leaders making bad decisions? Why are we still leaving these decisions up to them? Do citizens demand referendums before going to war? Do citizens get a say in any way about how their military gets used and who their soldiers will go to kill and terrorize next? Do citizens demand a say? How can we as children be taught about the horrors of world wars and then grow up to be adults who stand by and do absolutely nothing but focus on our own personal happiness and fulfillment, doing our best to look away and pretend it’s got nothing to do with us? Or how about this – why haven’t we yet demanded global demilitarization to instead redirect all the funds that go into wars and military development towards securing a basic income for everyone? Because – yes, let’s not forget – poverty is also still a thing.

So – let’s use that creative human brain that we must possess to be able to create things like cars, the internet, art and space shuttles to find and promote solutions, to get a say, to end things that shouldn’t be things anymore.

Join us in the Living Income movement – read the proposal – make your own blog and start sharing solutions, join a political party that has the provision of basic human rights on their agenda, or create one if there isn’t one, find out how you can participate in political decision making in your area, make your voice count.

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