Like it or not, wars are a result of the small things in life.
People begin them.
People like you and me.
People end them.
They can begin with a small offence, whether that be between two people in ‘a warzone on the streets’ or between two countries, it is still the same.
What would those three quarters of a million young British boys be thinking now if one chauffeur had not taken a wrong turning almost a hundred years ago? What if three groups of parliamentary individuals had not considered that one man’s death an insult to their national pride – and instead sought to redress the situation at that point only? What if, at that time, there had been no competition for markets, colonies and raw materials and countries had helped each other through the hard times? What if those same parliamentary individuals had not taken steps to redress the friction via physical force and instead settled their petty squabbles by allowing diplomacy to take place? What if, between the two World Wars, the Treaty of Versailles had not excluded the German people to the extent that the country’s individuals had to have two pay packets in every 24hr period before their currency was worthless at the end of each day – and instead included them in a rebuilding programme then?
I could go on and on about historic world events that touched individual lives, even though it was none of their making, nor their desire. And I wonder, would any of those men who lost their lives in some foreign land have grown up to be the saviour of mankind?
When we stand back and take the opportunity to look at the world from a distance, and our troubles (or my tiny globe and my little finger), or when we remember what we and our ancestors have learned – can we begin to see the ways that have changed our understanding?
Is there any hope that mankind can learn how to deal morally or ethically in the ‘right’ manner with each event, deed or word that does not harm another individual’s life? Can we understand the root causes of the things that make us change our attitude towards someone who, given another situation, could be our best friend? If we can’t, is the only question we are left with: how can we hope to deal with our future sanely, safely and satisfactorily now, if we don’t learn from our past?
Europe has always had some conflict going on somewhere or another. Our lands sprawl for many thousands of miles, and each country offers a unique and special beauty of its own. The people make the land what it is, the villages, towns and cities that come together to form a community of individuals. Individuals that, on mass, do not want wars. Do not wish harm on others.
You’ve probably been on holiday to these nations. Have you seen the Greeks smile as they dance? Have you seen the pride in an Italian pizza cook? Have you tasted delicious French food? Have you seen how proud the Germans are of cleanliness? All the nations that make up one big beautiful mass of land and all the people who live within its borders want, is to fall in love, get married, have children, go to work and feed their families. Given the choice, any man would rather pick up a ladle to stir the soup boiling on the stove, than a knife to deny another his life.
Instead, should we start to ask what will help individuals create a better world? A world in which we can live in our separate countries and allow our senses to delight in the best of our distinct and individual cultures without being fearful of the other? Can we learn to embrace and even feel proud of the uniqueness of individual nations? To learn to love each other not in spite of but because of, those differences?
What I’ve learned from putting this blog together, is that people the world over – no matter what colour of skin we are wrapped in or religion we choose to believe in, we all think and feel the same way about the land we are living upon and the people we live with. We all, more or less, think and feel the same way.
In a nutshell, from the responses received to the request put out about “Pride in Your Country”, I’ve noticed that time and time again, it’s the people who make the difference. The land we live upon comes a close second.
This comment, puts this thought neatly into context for me:
“i’ve lived abroad but came home as i miss the rolling hills the unpredictable weather. the freedom of choice. the history in our land, the monarchy. ah sorry i’m scottish but it’s england where i lay my hat.
especially london that’s where i live sorry i’ve not explained why i just do” Smilleychick @ NetLog (Scotland/England)
Upon Elizabeth the 1st’s death, James became King and united the great Kingdom’s of England and Scotland. Although an age-old battle still remains between us (Scotland’s ‘powers-that-be’ wants independence and the English don’t want the Scottish to decide on matters of Englishness) there is a likeable tolerance and a kind acceptance between the country’s people. Heck, we even fall in-love and marry each other!
But according to a poll taken in December 2007, over half of English people think that Scots MPs should not be able to vote on matters that involve England (as England can’t vote on matters involving Scotland) and they also think that higher spending in Scotland is unjustified.
That said, a vote will be cast and the die will be set … whether that be along seperate lines or allow us to face an uncertain future together, will be up to whoever is in control of the polling stations.
Where do we go from here?
What hope remains?
Will the goodness of mankind prevail?
All I know is one thing, when people stand together, but respect the differences, there is strength. Divisions cause chaos and fear.