When rebuilding or even building a society there is one question that is ever present. That question is, “Who do we want to be?”
For the most part that is what a constitution spells out for the larger society. Not all societies have constitutions though. For some the society has religious text as the guiding source. Also there is often a divergence in what the guidance material strives to explain and the actions of the people.
For example we can look at the various religious texts. The three main religions being Jewish, Christian and Islam each proclaim to be religions of peace. We all know that these three religions have long histories of violent conflict. Such conflicts are still being carried out at this very moment.
Another example of actions not meeting the goals set out is the divergence within the United Nations. The organizational/systematic goals of the United Nations are supported with all the avenues to ensure peace throughout the world. At odds with those goals are the actions of its members.
Being at odds with the goals set out by the builders of society is a reality of life. We grow and we experience events that bring new points of view. As these events unfold we silently ask the question, “Who do we want to be?” In many of the responses to that answer such words as trusting, honourable, caring, compassionate, unifying, strong, ethical and genuine are descriptors we all seek. Such an image is a lofty goal. It takes hard work and determination to build such a character. Looking around the world, where are those that emulate such character? Where are the role models for such a society?
There is a component to having such character that is lost. That component is the will to sacrifice all you have to live up to such character. By that I ask, what country today would be willing to lay its entire life on the line to uphold such pillars of character? For the most part I have witnessed more cowardice actions than any of the descriptors mentioned. For the most part I have witnessed leaders throwing money, soldiers and weapons at problems and when each of those fail it is time to leave. Examples are Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Haiti and there are others.
Such actions have only left the swords of division in the world. Those divisions grow as the children are educated about the actions of others. The people are taught to not trust, to be fearful, to hate, to destroy and to fight because they have known no other reality. Just think of the children in Syria that have only the last few years of memories, or a similar child in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti or Somalia. How are they to perceive the world?
We glorify the violent victories and supress the peaceful victories. This is the reality we are building yet we strive for the day where peaceful victories are the norm. We are told that peace is boring, no one wants to hear about unending talks, yet we are enthralled with unending violence. We wonder why peace has not returned to Libya, has been a rarity in Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan.
Many people are willing to die for a cause but no country is willing to change for peace. If such a reality existed, Israel and Palestine conflict would have been long over, Afghanistan would be a peaceful country as would Iraq. Under the current reality, our leaders still believe that violence will bring peace, which is evident in the actions concerning Syria.
Is thar who we want to be?