It is amazing how the hype about a new crisis can carry one away. For a moment or so I felt, that the people of Ukraine had a heroic and just war to fight. I felt that even I would go and fight if I’d be younger.
Then I remembered who I was. I, who didn’t even want to play a pistol fight in a play I once did. I, who sat crying in the entrance of a cinema because a stupid Bruce Willis film was too much violence for me. I who wrote:” If you don’t want war, don’t think war”.
But I also always said, that my standing up for peace probably only goes so far. If a soldier stands in front of me and wants to kill me and I’d had a weapon I would shoot first. I know how strong my survival instinct is. There are situations where your civilised, logical part stays millenia behind it’s ancient, wild and intinctual counter part.
I have often thought in recent years that it might be time for humankind to give up that idea they are only logic and civilised. The truth in my opinion is that we are just a sentence away from being thrown back into tribal thinking and fighting for territory as the conflict in Ukraine shows vividly.
I am wondering if we would act less violent if we’d realise that this wild part in us first of all does exist and secondly gets abused and manipulated quite easily. Just tell it its survival is threatened by these Immigrants or that social change and it lunges for its neighbour whom it lived peacefully with just moments ago.
Can we overcome this urge to force reality into the way we want it to look like and this urge to kill our brothers and sisters if they do not follow our creed? Can we overcome this duplicity of one country’s war is ” just” because we like it and they look like us and another’s isn’t because the country is strange to us and their people supposedly have not much in common with us?
War is never just. Increased military spending doesn’t mean more safety. It means less spending for education, less spending for public health, less spending for anything that makes a society successful. It means more possibilities for the power-hungry to play with our lives and send our sons and daughters into death.
Wiyaala sings in her song ” Peace”: ” War, war, war: nothing but destruction!” Look at Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar … How much safety have weapons brought the people of these countries? None. But a whole lot of destruction and trauma that won’t heal easily.
As long as we consider war a necessary evil to keep the tyrants at bay war won’t end. Because we usually know long before the tyrants start a war what they are up to. Poutine showed his true colours in his involvement in Syria but the rest of our nations thought cheap oil and gas are more important than the human rights of school children who were gassed to death.
The opposition to Poutines government told the West since decades how he destroys one democratic principle after another and no leader of a democratic country could be bothered to bring about sanctions that would have showed him that he cannot enslave his people.
We all knew what was going on and we didn’t pester our political representatives to do something about it. Or used less gas and petrol to take away Poutines income streams. Would it have made a difference? I don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe it would have lead to the same situation just earlier.
I find it so easy to hide behind reasonings like: “I won’t make a difference with my email or my one pound less petrol use”. ” I have no time to inform myself with different sources and standpoints because I have to work and make a living”. Or ” I can’t change the system!”
What if Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi or the Monday demonstrators in Eastern Germany would have thought like this? Where would our countries and our freedoms be?
I feel more and more that I need to start to walk my walk and talk my talk. And I am scared sh..less. Not because I fear imprisonment or worse. But because I fear to make a fool of myself and look silly. Why on earth should my actions or poems or blogposts make a difference? Silly old woman.
But guess what? I have a choice. And I can learn. And support is out there. Maybe I’m a dreamer like so many before me. But where would we be without dreams?