“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"” Eve Merriam
Wars, been there, done that throughout history and what have we learned to prevent us from warring again and again? At this time of year we pause to remember and honour the courage of all who have served in times of war. It is important to remember, but we should also take time to reflect and ask ourselves, “Can we fulfill the dreams of past warriors and create a true brotherhood of man?” “Yes, we can.” We may not be able to entirely wipe our wars, but it is in our power to resolve them in the future. Think for a moment about the devastation caused by hurricanes where entire communities are wiped out. Do we not build better structures to withstand the next onslaught of gale force winds? The circumstance of war unlike the uncontrollable fury of nature lies within each individual. To prevent future wars, we can repair and transform the self and thus effectively alter circumstances. Society is the by product of who we are on the inside. We can be the creators of the circumstance of war or rather the harbingers of peace.
Let’s consider the root causes of war. A quest for power, prestige, materialism; a belief in nationalism, or an ideology or a particular dogma can lead to a state of war being declared. Circumstances, issues, human dilemmas affect all of us. We can choose how to deal with our lot. To understand the consequences of our choices, we need to journey within. We need to appreciate our potential as the initiators of change and accept responsibility for our actions to alter the course. Change occurs when we act with goodwill, compassion, a genuine respect for others and an awareness that we are all one. There is no room for selfishness, superiority and indifference. Positive change happens when we choose to make it happen.
If we rely on others it will never happen. No leader, no army, no country will give us peace because peace cannot be imposed, it must exist within the self. Inward peace will lead ultimately to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, not withdrawal, but right action through right thinking. That is, to put an end to outward war, one must put an end to the war raging in the self and in the inappropriate, inconsiderate interactions with others. You have the power to implement change so be proactive and do something about it. Too often, we nod approval, verbally accept the words, and then continue to repeat our past actions exactly the same as we have done in the past.