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Rambo & Hobbes (& Aikido)


Courtesy of Dictionary.com

Peace:

1. The normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
6. freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.

War:

1. A conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
3. A contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns:
4. Armed fighting, as a science, profession, activity, or art; methods or principles of waging armed conflict:

This is  response to a post on Striking Thoughts of a quote in the recent Rambo movie. You can find that as well as the full story behind it here.

After some contemplation I finally came to this conclusion a day ago to the Striking Thought’s question to the masses:

Is peace an accident or is that notion being too pessimistic?

My answer to that is No, the notion is pessimistic. Here’s why:

To start I do believe that there is war in this universe for a reason. The Roman proverb that war is man’s favorite sport is a truth that I have come to accept my philosophy and view on humanity. However, I believe that humanity also has one truth that people tend to ignore and give little credit to: humanity has the ability to change.

To change ones tactics, adapt to ones surroundings, change one’s “filter”, and to pass on information to the new generation is one of the guiding hallmarks of humanity. We aren’t this planet’s most successful and adaptable species for no reason. Granted we aren’t the most perfect, but I would like to give credit when credit is due; we have survived this long through all the crap that has been sent our way as well as what we have created for ourselves (plague, war, famine, you name it).

Peace is a learned skill; it has to be learned and I don’t see any reason why we can’t continue in that route. I don’t believe that we should resort to a mentality a la Thomas Hobbes and submit our free will to governments who are after all human too. Who are we to submit our free will to people who (in essence) are going through the same crap that the rest of us are going through?

In conclusion I will state that on one hand it is naive to say that we humans are born peaceful and everything is goody-goody in this world (it’s not). It is just as naive to say that we are destined to screw ours into internal damnation through war and crap that we started ourselves. The human species has triumphed for the past couple millions of years – there is absolutely no reason why we can’t survive for at least a couple more thousand. Humans have the ability to change old habits and grow into new and (hopefully) better ones – such as peace.

Edit: Maybe I’m being overtly optimistic, but then again I come from a family that has experienced war first hand and on a personal level – is that too much to ask for?

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