Tuesday 16 December 2014

War. What is it good for?!

(Photo credit to www.telegraph.co.uk)

I remember learning about the world wars about 10 years ago in History, truth be told I don't recall the specifics since anything that wasn't Music, English or Art didn't interest me.

The only parts I do recall are that Australian soldiers went to fight in Gallipoli and through that we now have ANZAC Day. Yes I'm sure I've missed out on crucial details, but that's not my point.

I've never understood why we go to war. Sure we need to fight for our country and/or freedom, but do lives need to be lost in order to do this? Is violence and blood shed absolutely necessary? It just seems childish on a massive scale to do this.

I have a mental picture of kids playing on the playground, a fights starts because one group of kids want to play a particular game and the space they wanted to play it on is already occupied. One might suggest they compromise with the present occupants or even invite them in to play, instead of launching an attack on them declaring that they want that space to play in and refuse to share or let other people join in.

Intolerance is the problem here, well at least that's what I believe it is. As mentioned in another post, I grew up in religion but it didn't stick. Even though I was raised in a white, Christian-ish family in the South Western suburbs of Sydney and was taught (as many religions also teach) that we should only associate with those within our religion as they're the best influences. To me that was complete B.S.

My first few years of schooling were completed at the local preschool and primary school in one of the most multicultural areas in Sydney. My first non-Christian-ish friend was a Lebanese Muslim girl whom I met on the first day of school or thereabouts.

During my years at the school, her personality and actions became more than I was able to handle, so as my father told me only recently, as soon as a religious school opened up, we were one of the first to enroll.

Being part of a religious school within a strict and arguably intolerant religious community, one of the messages which was received (as mentioned above) was to only associate with other members of the community. That never really stuck for me. I didn't get why talking to or associating with non-religious or members of other religions was a bad thing. I mean, didn't Jesus go out into all the masses and preach, or whatever?!

After high school finished I found a very close friend in a Fijian-Indian Muslim girl a few years my senior who almost instantly became my best friend. We came from different backgrounds and religious practices but that just made our friendship all the more interesting. She had burning questions about her religion which she didn't really understand, so we spent many hours discussing and swapping ideas.

She and I spent so much time together that I became part of her family as an 'adopted' daughter and her parents (her mother had been my driving instructor who had then introduced us) and extended family came to see me as one of them. I still consider her and her family very dear to me. Not because of their religion or culture, but because they are just incredibly wonderful people to associate with.

My point, if it isn't obvious yet, is that spending time getting to know people of different backgrounds and cultures shouldn't be stopped because someone decided it wasn't a good idea. If anything it would strengthen not only you as a person, but your beliefs and convictions.

(Photo credit to en.wikipedia.org)

In light of the recent siege in Sydney yesterday which saw the tragic loss of 2 Australians as well as the gunman, I read a few articles about ISIS and men who were connected to the organisation who thought it was laughable what had happened since no one reported on the multitudes of people killed by soldiers in war.

The ISIS supporters had a point though. From a humanitarian perspective, we send out troops to fight wars which I think are unnecessary given the amount of innocent people that lose their lives because of it. How much better does that make us if we go to another country to kill their people to start with? Who decides which human life is more valuable than another? What gives them the right to decide?

From a philosophical perspective, I would say that the least valuable human life of all is one that believes that taking another person's life is okay to do, or without 'just cause'. By this I mean that if someone killed a loved one and you killed the killer, it would still be wrong, but you could understand the motive behind it.
People who seek to destroy others because they can are the biggest cause for concern. I was saying to a friend when the gun banning laws started coming out in the US, if someone wants to kill another person, they'll find a way to do it.

We need to stop teaching children and others whose minds have been brainwashed and corrupted that it's not okay to destroy another human being.

War. What is it good for?! Really.

(Photo credit to rainbowschools.ca)

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