July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010

Why War?

What has prompted this article is the quest for why men war against each other and possibly how to change an instinct that appears to have been born with man. There are more questions than answers in this article. However, I believe that we can not get answers unless we ask searching questions.

If we take individual reactions to frustrations, we observe that a large majority of people react with anger. A segment of the population resist any change to their attitudes, beliefs or life styles. Just recall the many conflicts between religious groups vying for what they believe is the correct way to believe in God. On a micro level in relationships, when one person is an A personality and the other is laid back; the A person becomes annoyed that life does not get “fixed” as quickly as the A would like.

Therefore, disagreements begin that stem from feeling that the uninvolved individual lacks loving feelings, for if they were an A person they would do many things more quickly and immediately and not let the world pass by so smoothly. In the A’s point of view the other is lazy.

In fact if we make this a world view reaction anyone who does not think or behave as the viewer expects or determines is true becomes the source of frustration and therefore anger.

The events of 911 brought me to feel that level of frustration. I thought if I were on an air plane with Terrorists I would not think twice about attacking them in order to prevent them from attacking the United States. . Which brings into the equation an element of fear. When we fear we approach an anger that brings the most complacent of humans into a war mode. Certainly I abhor violence, yet I was thinking of being violent should the situation call for that action.

Which brings one to the conclusion that if humans feel invaded, we will invade. In fact, all animals respond in that manner. I often use the example that if a squirrel happens to enter your home and you wish to gently remove it, be careful of cornering it as it will feel threatened and attack.

So what are the Terrorists protecting? What do they fear? Why do they attack defenceless citizens who are not provoking them? Could it be that Terrorists are provoked by the changes in culture which is foreign to their way of thinking? That they feel that we have attacked their lifestyle and they are in danger of losing their individuality or culture?

If that hypothesis is, in part, correct, then how do we stem the violence that we believe is originating from them?

Starting a dialogue with emotional people does not work as they are only listening to their own views. Making the world over to reflect their values and morals is not feasible. When couples come in with irreconcilable differences, the party that is most willing to improve the relationship must do active listening {which is identifying the emotions of the upset spouse with real empathy, not mocking it, but trying to understand the feelings that are endangered.} Once this is accomplished, the couple can move towards a resolution. the resolution may include solutions that may or may not keep the couple together, yet it will bring harmony to the issue in some form or other. No matter how much we disagree with our attacker(s), until we can listen to what they are so concerned about which actually motivates them to randomly kill globally; then, all that results is more anger which generates a continuing war.

Right now, the only thing we know-for certain-about the Terrorists are that they want to kill everyone everywhere. We react by wanting to exterminate them, which creates another terror reaction to build ranks and kill more.

They obviously believe they are fighting for a just cause in order to preserve their way of life. Is the only answer extermination? Both sides, obviously has the opinion that the other is Evil. We need to find a solution.

Or are we working with an ecosystem similar to a beehive, where there are workers, caretakers, and warriors? An ecosystem that may be triggered by factors such as overpopulation, poverty, power struggles over land, jealousy, or coveting ones other’s properties? If this is the case, why are there not studies about man’s past history of wars and what truly were the triggering points?

Why not use our Revolutionary War as an example of where the Patriots felt that they were used, and mistreated by the British sovereignty? Or perhaps why the Vikings left their homes to ravage distant peoples. Did they need to wage war for preservation? Did they wage war because it is in the genes to fight? Are we looking at the right stressors or are we blinded by all the reasons we give ourselves to kill?

Are we asking enough questions? If we do not question, we will not get answers. Moreover, the right questions need to be asked in order to obtain the correct solutions.

Perhaps the ecosystems around us contain the answers for which we are searching.

Then, of course, man’s need to dominate and control is evident in every war and often in some individual’s approach to life. Since it is not possible to control another human being except by threat of violence or by force, war has always been the inevitable action when en masse. Dominance is expressed by fighting to defend or keep ones mate, territory, or status, amongst the animal world. As much as humanity insists it is above being an animal, much of human behavior is mirrored by observing the animal kingdom.

I invite others to share their thoughts with me on this most serious topic.