What do trash and war have in common?
August 1, 2006
Why do people dump trash in a trash can that is already spilling over in the wind when there is obviously no way on Gods green earth that the garbage will stay in the can? Is world peace possible? Dont you wish there was a simple answer to our local trash problems and global turmoil? Well, there is, if you can see through the garbage.The right way to live and solve problems is the same for nations as it is for individuals. Unfortunately, personal awareness of how to live and deal with the real world is woefully lacking, but lifes right answers are the same for everybody, at every level. And no, the answer isnt to party on and get all you can before you die because you figure, so what, the world is all screwed up anyway.The answer is to get rid of your own garbage.I think the only difference between littering and killing people for God, or Allah, is one of degree. Call it the garbage effect. Inversely, there is a direct connection between picking up your own litter and acts of human kindness and compassion in a crisis, both of which require that we act out of consideration for others instead of being fixated on our own needs all the time, like most of us naturally are.The right answers would work if only everybody knew them. Some answers would fail even if everyone agreed with them. If violence is the answer (and a lot of people think it is) peace will come. There just wont be any humans around to enjoy it.When things go wrong bad things snowball. Resentment builds, escalating into class, ethnic and religious hatred and war. Emotional reactions always cloud the facts. The good guys become the bad guys and their only crime is trying to survive in the real world. That is what is happening to Israel today.Mistakes are made on both sides in any conflict. Thats what a conflict is; people on both sides making mistakes. Lets just hope that peace loving people dont make the mistake of thinking that those sworn to kill them are just kidding. Tell me, how do you maintain a cease fire or be diplomatic with someone who is being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to wipe you off the face of the earth? A Mafia hit man would be easier to stop. Preventing good people from defending themselves will not bring peace. That is just a cold, hard fact of life in the real world.It is no more right for me to blame others for my difficulties than it is for Palestinians to blame Jews for theirs, no matter how profound my pain.Even if it is true that someone else is responsible for my suffering, no religion, emotional reaction or natural law makes it right to retaliate with more hatred and violence. Only you can make peace for yourself. The same goes for Hezbollah.Do you think well never see major bloodshed in America? Will you be able to choose the higher path when the rockets start landing here, or will you turn against your own brothers and sisters and try to take all you can? How will you respond? That is the most pressing question we can be asking ourselves right now.The school board in Monument, Colo. punished Erica Corder for expressing her religious beliefs in her high school valedictorian speech even though she violated no school policy. They are withholding her diploma until she apologizes for being free, I guess. They might as well have kidnapped her boyfriend and launched missiles at her.I hate to say it, but Americas trash can is overflowing and it keeps piling up. We have some picking up to do right here on our own cluttered corner of Gods green earth. We better hurry before our enemies get here. Well need each other to pick up the bodies.Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived on the North Shore of Tahoe for 25 years.
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