Saturday, September 12, 2015

2015 Why Understanding Conflict is to Prevent War

As I was watching this movie called Suite Française, which starts with scenes of German airplanes bombing civilian people who were walking on the road from Paris to a small town to find shelter and safety, I felt myself feeling shocked by those images of war-planes bombing 'innocent' civilians. But then I started looking at this concept of war and how it is that there is always this 'bad guy' or 'bad people' apparently without any reason or conscience killing a whole bunch of other people. Those 'bad guys' in this case being the Germans.

I suppose the modern equivalent of 'the Germans' would be like ISIS, those 'monsters' who are invading countries, killing innocent people and trying to enforce their vision and way of life onto a people.  So, just like with pre-war Germany, I myself must admit that there is very little that I truly know about how the current ISIS situation really started, why did they become militant, why are they so angry, why are they set on killing, plundering and raping across Syria and Iraq and who are they really...

When I think back to my days in high school when I learned about World War One and Two, I don't remember learning anything about how exactly those two world wars were started. All that we learned back then were random facts like, this is where they first hit, Hitler hated the Germans, they invaded all these countries, there were so many people killed, etcetera...

But the most important information, the information which would in fact show the real problem behind why those wars started in the first place, and would simultaneously also enable one to see the solution to prevent such things from happening again, ... This information was not taught in history class. I never learned why it was that Germans got so extremely angry that they were willing to go to war or what could have pushed them so far to the edge that war seemed to them like a better option than the status quo.

I mean, in war people die, families get torn apart, there is nothing but anger, hate, grief, sadness and regret that comes from war, and this is the case for either side. So war is only something that would be like a last resort, when all other options have been depleted, when you see no other way out to survive, and to live a decent life. So to simply say that 'they hated the Jews, and therefore they decided to exterminate them', or 'they just got provoked and therefore they decided to go to war', without giving the exact detail of what their situation was like before the war, is like deliberately hiding a big part of reality in order to deliberately paint a certain picture of 'the Germans'.

Come to think of it, looking back on how history class was taught, specifically when it came to those two world wars, all that I seemed to have gotten out of it was that 'Germans are bad people' and 'Hitler was a bad man', as though I had just watched a Hollywood action movie with a hero and villain character who both lack real depth, because obviously they are figures of imagination designed to entertain the minds of the public.

So, it is only now that I have matured enough as a person that I understand that in fact any conflict is more than just a 'good guy' and a 'bad guy' trying to fight this epic battle of good versus evil. In a conflict you have basically two people who both want the same thing, which is to survive and live indignity in this world and to be respected, cared for and considered by others, and conflict is what emerges when one party feels that they cannot establish or create what is needed to live in dignity. And war is what you get when that person has been pushed into that situation to the brink of despair where they can't see any other way than to forcefully take it from others who may or may not have in fact more than what they need.

Now this is actually how our economy works. It wasn't only in pre-war Germany that there was economic inequality where some had nothing or close to nothing, while others had more than they could possibly need, but also in our current climate we have severe economic inequality in countries and between countries. So much so even, that if you really stop and look at this situation, it does almost constantly feel like the entire world is on a perpetual brink of war. After all, how could it not be when so many people are being pushed into that position of absolute despair where they would consider doing anything just to be able to survive.

What many countries have been good at doing however, is dispersing and dividing this inequality in such a way that individuals whom are in this state of despair are isolated and end up lashing out on their close environment, so as to prevent those people from organizing themselves and potentially start a war or revolution. A few methods of dispersing disparity is by for example making sure there is minimal education available so that people don't have the skills to speak up and create a substantial movement, or through media which is good at creating cognitive disinformation and redirecting people's awareness away from the things that matter and from the real problems towards false enemies.

So why and how is it that we have missed this very obvious reality and truth when it comes to conflict, that the one we are fighting is always a living being exactly like ourselves, not a demon or bad/evil person or people. And I don't just mean when it comes to war, also the small conflicts we go into on a daily bases, externally with people in our environment but also internally in our mind each time we wish ill on someone. Why are we so quick to believe the propaganda done by the media and by our own mind about another person or people which deliberately paints a picture of them and blinds us from recognizing ourselves within the other?

Conflict resolution, be it in war or domestic disagreements, always starts with placing yourself in the shoes of the other person and recognizing yourself as a living being in them. It starts with learning about a person's background so that you can see and understand that if you were in their shoes you would have done and reacted the same. I am one vote for a mature world wherein we can deal with conflict in a mature way, which is not by fighting back but by ensuring that each being has a dignified life and enjoys the respect, care and consideration that we all deserve. Investigate a Living Income Guaranteed #LIG


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