“But if war comes, all that will go for nothing.”~The Tryst by Michael Dibdin
Many images come to mind when I think of war- explosions, mutilations, people suffering, torture, blood, weapons, planes, helicopters, ships, missiles, bombs, victory, defeat, destruction. The list goes on. I am someone who believes very strongly that war should be kept as a last resort. I’d like to say I don’t believe in war. I’d like to think that war is an unnecessary evil. I just don’t know how realistic that is. The balance between good and evil has to be restored somehow. Take Hitler for example. If no one had gone to war against Hitler and his army, what kind of world would we be living in today?
I won’t sit here and pretend I know everything there is to know about the history of the world, or war for that matter. If it’s history you want, you’ll have to find it elsewhere. I’ve never been much of a history buff. Maybe if I had ever experienced war on a personal level, I would feel comfortable talking about all its horrors. The fact is, I am one of the lucky ones. I have never been directly touched by war. Everything I know about war I learned in books, on television, in newspapers, and from people I’ve met. I feel I am unqualified to talk about it.
There is another kind of war, though, one that I am quite familiar with. We are all familiar with it in some way. It’s the war within, the internal battle we fight everyday. It takes different forms and we apply it to different circumstances, but it’s all part of the same battle. More often than not, this battle boils down to nurture versus nature.
There was a time when I believed that everyone, and I mean everyone, was good at the core of their being. This might sound crazy, but I believed that if someone was an outwardly “bad” person, intent on doing more harm than good, I could connect with that person on a deeper level and draw that person’s goodness to the surface. Everyone is born innocent. Life changes us. I thought that knowing everyone was inherently good and finding that good in everyone would keep me from getting hurt.
Obviously, I was wrong. The first time I was really hurt, the curtain came down, and it nearly destroyed me. The kaleidoscope I saw our beautiful world through lost its color. I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover, knowing what I know now. I’ll never see the world as I saw it before, but color has returned and grows more vibrant everyday.
That is how the battle begins. A part of me still believes that there is good in everyone. Part of me thinks the good in some of us is buried so deep, it would take a small miracle to dig it up. I’ve even caught myself looking at someone, wondering if good was ever there in the first place. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but the more I see, the more difficult it becomes. It’s a constant struggle. A war.
That’s just one example, but the war continues in so many other ways. I will not let it harden me. I will hold onto innocence as long as I can. I will not bury my heart. I will dust it off, fill it with goodness, sprinkle it with love, and share it with the world. That is how the war is won.