I Want A World Without War
My heart hurts whenever I hear or think about all the pain and loss war causes. I respect and honor the individuals who serve in the armed services, especially the ones who have lost their lives and my heart breaks for their loved ones.
I cannot imagine how either the soldiers and their loved ones at home handle the long deployments, that are filled with too many unknowns. I am sadden for the way that everyone who comes home from a war will have a body, mind and spirit that will be affected for the rest of their life… some more severe than others.
I want a world without war.
I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask,
“Mother, what was war? - Eve Merriam
We teach our children to solve their problems with words, not with fighting. Why can’t adults do the same? Yes, I know there are numerous barriers to a world without war … enemies, evil dictators, power-hungry leaders and more.
Without war … I don’t know how the situation with Hitler should have been handled. I don’t know the best way a country should respond to terrorist attacks. I can hardly allow myself to think about the many (millions?) around the world who are controlled daily by a dictator.
But does war really solve more issues than it creates?
A great war leaves the country with three armies
- an army of cripples, an army of mourners,
and an army of thieves. ~ German Proverb
My sons have wondered if I am only a pacifist due to my Traditional Mennonite upbringing. Traditional Mennonite churches encourage nonresistance lifestyles and forbid any of their members to serve in the armed services or even as a police officer. So while that influences me, that is not why I am a pacifist today.
After leaving the Mennonite world in my early twenties, there was about a decade when I didn’t identify myself as a pacifist. Adjusting to life outside the boxes of my childhood (where rules and doctrines had controlled my beliefs) meant I needed to examine many aspects of life to determine what I personally believe… instead of simply believing what others say I should.
Since I wasn’t used to standing on my own two feet concerning my beliefs, for a time, I decided that war must be a necessary evil because I allowed my beliefs to be influenced by the conservative evangelical culture I was a part of then. I find it interesting that every act of terror or war that America or Israel did/does is called a “just war“ but acts of terror or wars by others are not. (but that’s a post for another day)
After the invasion of Afghanistan (’01) and Iraq (’03), I began questioning the value of war. Then I went through the trauma of the accident (’04) I lived with severe pain for years and still live with some pain today. I struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and still have flashes of it. So I revisited my thoughts and beliefs on war. I’m no expert, but I did what I could to study the effects of war on individuals and on countries.
I cannot be anything other than a pacifist.
When people hear that I’m a pacifist, one question I’m often asked is how would I react if my life or someone else’s life was threaten. Some of you will see this as a contradiction (sometimes I even do) but I would respond in self-defense. Recently I even took a personal self-defense class so I know what to do if I find myself in a dangerous situation. That may or may not be the right thing to do. But that seems different than one country going to war with another country.
You can no more win a war than
you can win an earthquake. ~ Jeanette Rankin
Post-war devastation is brutal for everyone involved. Do you realize how much good all the money spent on war could accomplish? Food, shelter, education for everyone in this country and many more!
Yes, my heart breaks for the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 … and in other acts of terror around the world. And my heart breaks for the civilians who are killed during wars … too many times from bombs dropped by America.
I hope the distant day John F. Kennedy talked about arrives soon:
War will exist until that distant day when
the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation
and prestige that the warrior does today.