Random thoughts

July 14, 2006

War

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 1:53 pm

What is war?  I think war is fear.  It is the fear of others, fear for ourselves.  It is fear of ideas.  Fear of peace.  For when you’ve identified yourself very strongly with a conflict, when the conflict is over, who are you?  War is fear of and for life – both living and breathing, as well as for how you choose to live that life.

 Are we at war?  It could easily be argued that yes, we are at war.  Not really the ‘war on terror,’ so much as something more intangible.  Despite the horrors of 9/11, and the fear immediately following it, the fear faded.  I felt safe living in America – partly because of physical distance, but also because our leadership did not express any fear (even if there should have been some).  But now, almost 5 years and 2 ‘conflicts’ later, I am afraid.  And it is not a little fear.  It is a soul-deep fear that diplomacy is not going to work and that soon we will be staring at a major conflict against someone who has the power to fight back on our turf.  The fear that friends and loved ones will get called up, go to war, and come back altered in some vital way that I will not be able to understand.  It is the fear that after this conflict, the world will have changed into something that we won’t recognize and won’t know how to live in.  It’s the fear that winning that war will have a much higher price tag than we have ever had to pay, and we may not be able to pay it.  It is even the fear that, if our enemies join forces, we may not win.

 But there is other fear mixed in.  Fear for our world.  Fear that the world has said “enough!” and will not be able to sustain us in the numbers we have grown to with the consumption so high.  Fear that we are literally ripping our world apart through our mines, levees, dams, bombs, rockets, automobiles.  Fear that it will not recover. 

 Franklin D. Roosevelt said “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”   Because our fear can defeat us.  We have to dig deep and not let our fear dictate our actions (and inactions).  Because by reacting to our fear, we are certain to bring about the very things we fear.  But by finding our courage, we can change the course.  With courage, we can prevent fear from extinguishing our hope.  And our hope for the future is what will sustain us through whatever may come.

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