Price of Peace

Song for the mood: Peace Sells ... but who's buying? --- Megadeth

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we
fail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What exactly is the price of peace? What is that you pay with, for the cause of peace? What is the biggest argument, the biggest factor, in favor of peace? Is it love? Is it brotherhood? Is it freedom? Or is it even relevant to any of these?

I have a minor fascination towards the topic of wars, especially World War II, albeit recently developed. I read about it from an unbiased, neutral perspective. It is intriguing to read about it; the social dynamics prevalent during that time, the manner in which the politics exploited these social dynamics, the promising beginning of a man seemed destined to be a long lasting leader for millions of eager people, the lust of power that drove men over the edge and so many other things.

The topic of World War II is too vast. It is a daily-dinner-discussion topic for us and we never get tired of it. However, the above question rankles much deeper that anything else, for that is at the very heart of it all. For a moment ask yourself the same thing; what is the price of peace? In a strange way - call it demented if you want - it is war. At least in my opinion.

"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace." - Ulysses S. Grant

Before you misinterpret me, allow me to clarify my stance. For this I ask you another question. Can we feel peace?

I will diverge from the topic a little now, but that is only to elaborate my view further. My grandfather once told me about the times that were when he was born, when he was growing up and when he started earning a living for the family. It was pre-Independence time. He personally had to struggle a lot to just live on, had to get into the navy to start earning at an early age to sustain for the family - he started working when he was still not out of his teens - and had to see a lot of turmoil during the Independence struggle years. During that same conversation he said to me, "You take too much for granted". It hit me then but maybe because I took it the wrong way. Now when I think of it I see two things: One, yes compared to my grandfather or even my father, maybe I do take a lot of things for 'granted'. Two, I don't know what taking for granted really means.

I - this will hold for most of us - have never been deprived of anything. Let me put it this way rather; when I needed something it was there for me, so again, I wouldn't know what it means to be deprived of something. It is the way things have been.

Now taking this same perspective, I return back to my answer, 'War'.

"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must
suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." - General Douglas MacArthur

It is during war that the greatest tragedies are felt, loss of unity, loss of kindness, of love, of goodwill, of trust, of faith ... of life. It is in these times that man becomes the way the creator sent him on this planet, all alone. It is in these times when out of anger and frustration people do vile, inhumane acts towards others, who if they stop a moment and think are just like themselves. Nobody is a victor in war. Everyone only loses, some lose more than others. It is in the aftermath of wars that people realize what they have brought unto themselves.

"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

The horrors of such times call for peace. You can only experience it, that too, if you know in your mind why it is so important. It is through the efforts of a million survivors that a billion today are living in a world that we have come to know for how it is. But what about the future? What is it that will stop us, this generation, from starting new wars for whatever reasons? We have heard of peace but do we really know what it is? In the words of Albert Einstein, "So long as there are men there will be wars"... it is the circle of life.

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a
crime." - Ernest Hemingway

Till next time...

(All quotes courtesy the game Call of Duty Vol. 2. A list of quotes can be found here)

PS: I do not advocate violence. I do not advocate wars. I am sane enough to figure out that war will definitely not improve things, least of all allow me the freedom to write such long posts :-)