Over the past five months I have been helping with a very ugly conflict. One where truth has been killed so many times that it is difficult for the larger population to even know what to believe. When sitting at the table I can look both sides in the heart. I know where the lies began and where the truth stopped, yet the conflict is no longer about what is true or who is wrong. The conflict now is how to rebuild on a foundation destroyed.
Trust is no longer alive due to fact that there have been too many lies and atrocities. For one side of this conflict, they are in a situation where even the lives of those in harms way are not thought of. It is a continual fight to ensure that their story is the story everyone will trust. How do you go about that when that story is false? How do you help when the foundation of knowledge is flawed?
As in all conflict, it begins and ends in the mind. We fight each other because we believe. How do you help in a situation where there is a broken psyche, paranoia, and the only way out is to ensure the people that are closest feel equal or more pain?
The society is torn apart, the current leader is bent on revenge at all cost. Removing the leader may seem simple. However there is enough support that doing so will cause a great amount of harm. “Do no harm”, is a popular phrase in the world of peace and conflict. Yet when cancer spreads the short term harm may indeed save the entire person.
There are many options. One option is to allow the situation to continue and we do what we can to help the people as the current leader plays out their time. At the moment it seems that is what is going to happen in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen – the list goes on.
There is no greater sorrow in my heart or in my mind than the moments where trust in others has been destroyed. To be harmed by a person you had trusted is a moment of such great pain that death can be welcome thought. Each time I encounter such an experience it is never easier. The only positive is that I know I have gotten through it before, I hope I will again.
The people that are lost and will be lost are thought of daily. I wish them a peaceful after life. For those that are saved I hope they carry with them the knowledge that peace is better than war. There is no peace when the use of fear, violence, destruction, torture and deceit are used to gain.