Thursday, March 9, 2017

Peace: The Hard Sell

Hi! It's been a while. Well, I have to admit that after the election in November, I went into a bit of hibernation.
But I think it's time to come out of hiding and rejoin society, however screwed up it may be.

     A friend of mine told me recently that she had a disturbing encounter on Facebook. Someone in another country was accusing all Americans of supporting our government's policies. My friend felt understandably angry and hurt by this. She tried to explain that many of us did not vote for the current President. Additionally, some of us are active in organizations that protest war, speak out for human rights and lobby Congress for progressive issues.
     It is unfortunate that some individuals in other countries lump us together and assume we agree with all that our elected leaders do. Such is not the case, of course! We wonder why they would think that.
     First, we must understand that the media in other countries may be just as biased as ours-or even more so. Secondly, leaders in other countries bicker and rattle sabers just as ours do. But we have done more than threaten; we have attacked one country after another until people believe the United States to be a bully. Is someone in a war zone supposed to NOT hate his attacker?
     But wars are never fought by those we elect. The White House and halls of Congress continue to be occupied mostly by those who have never been in uniform. Leaders give the order for war; young and healthy people fight it. Often, they do not make it back alive and if they do, their mental wounds can be every bit as bad as their physical ones.  Many of them sign up because their prospects for education or a good job are not looking good. The military promises full time employment, benefits, and money for college, not to mention the travel and adventure every recruiter peddles. They must play down the facts about war.
     I love the quote, "What if they threw a war and no one showed up?"
     Think about that. How do we get young people around the world to refuse to fight a war? That's a tough sell, even here in America. Somehow, our flag and national anthem have been mixed with so called "patriotism", which could better be described as "nationalism". That has led many down the road to xenophobia. They seem not to realize the irony of their bigotry against those in other countries.
     These are people who have forgotten we Americans, for the most part, are the descendants of immigrants. It is precisely because of their hard work that this country has been successful for so long. It is our diversity that makes us truly great! We really are a melting pot of many cultures and religions.

     So, I say to the rest of the world, especially those in war zones, to those who are angry and fearful of us, many of us wish you only peace. I am sorry we have not yet been able to get all Americans to say "no" to war and "yes" to peace and compassion for all people. This awakening that must take place is manifesting itself more slowly than we would like. But we are grateful for the progress that has been made.
     The vast majority of people in the United States are good folks. They mean no harm. But they are lied to by our government and the mainstream media. We do not often get to hear the voices of the oppressed. We need them! We need all of our voices, demanding the insanity of perpetual war be ceased!

     Those are my thoughts today, as I ride a city bus and contemplate my mutual humanity with the rest of the world. 

     From somewhere near The Lake, be well and wage peace!

     Peace Train







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