I suppose a disclaimer should come first. This is just little me on a little sad rant after watching the news about Gaza and Ukraine. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones to any war for whatever reason.
I've been told that some conflicts are, what they call, unavoidable. I've been told that sometimes war is necessary... But at the moment, I don't really want to believe those statements. I just want peace.
I don't expect everyone to agree with this little piece, but I do hope (if you don't agree) that you, dear reader, would be polite even in your disagreement. I'd appreciate that.
Dear World Leaders,
I am not a political activist, nor do I study politics for a living. I am, however, a citizen of this world and I believe I have the right to say that the fighting has to stop.
I’ve been told that the beauty of living in the twenty-first century is how we’re somehow more interconnected. I’ve been told we’re all weaved into a web called the world, and we are all human.
I’ve also been told that conflict could be resolved whilst “minimising casualties.”
It’s funny how ‘minimal casualties’ are always comparative—to the past, to other wars, to conflicts that reach beyond the bounds of my memory—but still, here we are, in a supposedly progressive world and still the fighting continues.
I do not pretend to understand politics, or differing ideologies, but I will say that I understand the humanity of us all. We are, all of us, made up of flesh and bone that bruises and breaks too easily. We are mortal in the very sense of the word. We open our eyes to wake, and we close them to sleep. We were never meant to survive rocket launches or metal bullets to the chest.
But of course, you must win your wars. You must win because somehow one side or the other is more right. You must win your wars.
And what about the rest of us?
The ones you call casualties?
Out there, where planes crash and guns fire like metal popcorn in a microwave, out there people are dying. Do you understand? They’re gone. You can never ever bring them back to life. No amount of apologies or convictions can change the fact that too many families have been broken by death and too many children have had their dreams replaced by the nightmarish sound of gunfire.
I don’t care how much ‘repair’ you can do. These moments will never be returned as fresh blank slates. Time only progresses forward, and the more time that goes on the more people die. You do not have the elixir of life. You can’t bring them back. You can’t ‘make this right.’ Not this way, at least.
I understand—you believe you’re making the world a better place. I understand—there is right and wrong and sometimes, action is necessary.
But I don’t understand how more war can bring peace.
Victory will never bring back the dead.
Victory will never rewind the damage.
I understand—there are things worth fighting for.
But are guns necessary?
We call children who fight with fists barbaric. We praise children who talk things out like ‘adults.’
So what exactly are we doing fighting with fists, creating bruises, allowing our people to taste blood on their lips?
I just don’t understand why you think this is okay. I hope I speak for everyone by saying that I am just more and more frustrated because the death toll keeps adding up.
I’m just concerned for others like me who have dreamt big dreams. I want to dream with them, to tell them that their dreams are valid, but they’re living in nightmares. How do I reconcile ‘ideology’ with ‘humanity’?
I don’t know.
I’m just throwing things into the void, I suppose.
But I wish it would all stop.
Too many people have died.
One casualty is enough.
Please, if you can, let the death toll stop rising, I beg you.
Make war avoidable.
Let people live.