Friday, November 3, 2017

Tasks of Peace

Remembrance Day is upon us. At this time we are to show our respect for those that gave everything. To live in a country such as Canada we hold an unspoken promise/obligation which is best stated in the last verse of the poem In Flanders Fields:
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep.
For some of us, paying taxes is where the obligation ends. Luckily, many expand their responsibility to voting, take part in community organizations, attend meetings, volunteer and/or make donations. There are so many ways to fulfill our duty to hold the torch high that it is difficult to believe a society could ever breakdown into war. Sadly the precipice of chaos is never to far off.

You see, very few of us really count the true weight of peace. In truth, each of us is responsible for every death and injury of our soldiers, police or any person working on our behalf. Furthermore, we are responsible for every injury/death caused by those very same people. Going one step further, we are responsible for every child who falls through the cracks of society. These are often forgotten responsibilities of each person in a democracy. If not forgotten, some people will say “I pay my taxes, that is enough”. Is it?
There is another element which has been slowly eroded. That element is being noted recently as “fake news”. We have an obligation to seek facts that are correct – truth. At this point many will say “well politicians lie all the time anyway so why should we believe anything?” This line of thought is a vicious circle of blame which allows further erosion of truth. We can not stop the lies but we stop those that lie by holding them accountable. However there is also a cliché of Winston Churchill which states “A lie will travel thrice around the world before the truth even gets its pants on”. We are seeing this take place at a greater speed with social media. We must be vigilant in our duties to hold the torch high.
We have a federal election coming up in 2019 and there are forces that will plant “fake news”. This is not new to Canada but we are facing more of the same. For example, the Republic of the United States meddled in the 1962-63 election cylce. Also there was open support of organizations from Russia throughout the 1930's. In reality these efforts have never ceased, we just became numb to the onslaught.
Our task in holding the torch high of building a peaceful society is to work through the misinformation and find the truth. Such is our responsibility to carry if a peaceful society is to flourish. What is comforting though is that the responsibilities we are asked to carry are not such great burdens. We need to be diligent, accurate, peaceful and honest with each other.
We must see that the squeaky wheel should not always get the grease unless we want a nation of complainers. Also, common sense is not rare but rather it is really just bad practice for the most part. The proof is that is we throw away $31 billion dollars in edible food every year. Further evidence of common sense being bad practice is the (common) person spending five minutes circling the parking lot to get a closer spot than the one minute it would take to park in the open spot further away and walk. That same person may spend further money on a gym membership, equipment or just get a pill from the doctor. In a burst of reality it has become common sense to complain loudest, bully your way through to the quickest, cheapest and easiest way possible. This is the onslaught we are facing.
As each soldier who has fought will attest to, there is no substitute for solid planning, excellent communication, hard work and honesty with those you are dealing with. At the very bottom of all that is to take the same path when dealing with your own mind as well. We may not ever get rid of those that will seek to cause harm for no other reason but to cause harm. Yet we owe it to those who “from failing hands throw the torch” to take notice of all our responsibilities as we build a peaceful society.

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