Before I begin today’s post, I wanted to share the credit for the image used in today’s post. It’s an oil-painting from Sandra Harris! You can check out the piece titled: Indian Woman with Child (1985) here on artnet.com.
During times of war, every single person is affected. Whether two countries are fighting each other or a nation has a war internally. War consumes everyone’s life in different ways.
Today, I want to explore this topic: of war.
It’s a dirty word, marked with the countless stains of past blood and present sorrows. It’s an experience that nobody likes to acknowledge, but everyone knows it exists. Whether we try to ignore it or bring light to it, it never gets better. But the one thing I realized about the ultimate truth of war is that it begins with a lie.
Somewhere down the line, there is an intentional misunderstanding or a deep-seated desire for greed. And this always comes from the topmost section of our society.
This is summarily how a war begins at the very core of its origin. Whether you wish to accept this as fact is a personal question you must ask yourself. But the fact of the matter is that our realities are shaped by this unfortunate event.
In particular, I want you to imagine a small town in the middle of a peaceful nation for a moment. Imagine what the lives of these people must have been like before the war even touched their lives. I’m not asking you to sympathize. What I’m trying to get you to imagine is the scenario. Once you do, you will better understand what I’m trying to express.
In this little town, there are all sorts of different people with their own unique personalities. But, for the most part, everyone gets along and actually enjoys each other’s company at times. These people are humble and aren’t subjected to such injustice or cruelty.
Of course, they are likely resentful towards any taxes they must pay to their siphoning government. Their governments insist that all the money is going towards “public interest programs.”
Of course, not every day is a good day. But overall, everyone gets along and has no significant complaints which warrant a coup d’état. So naturally, these people have no real reason to truly hate each other or even those who rule over their lives.
That is until a neighboring nation invades their homeland, or even their own country implodes politically from the inside-out.
The people begin to hear the word of discord on bordering lines. They start to listen to the whispers of terrible and tragic fates. This is just the start of the hard days to come.
Once, everyone understood one another and understood how to be a part of a community. But now, slowly but surely, everyone begins to panic silently. The unvoiced fear starts to crawl through the people’s hearts and take over their minds. This is the next stage of what happens to once ordinary and unhindered people.
As time progresses onward, the people begin to see signs of this war which looms ever the closer. They begin to hear the sounds of distant mayhem, the sound of inhumane suffering. This is when the people start to stand as one, fall apart at the seams, and turn against their government.
This is the central turning point in any war; for the innocent people caught in the crosshairs of such turbulent times.
Ideally, it would make sense for the outcome to be the same every time. People in a town, or even a city, should always unite against their governments. Whatever injustice slithers its way towards their community, it always stems from the supposed leaders of their community.
But, as life has shown us, sometimes this isn’t the case.
When this isn’t the case, that is when people’s lives genuinely change for the worse.
People lose something inside of themselves. They lose their humanity.
They become savages, understandably afraid of the world and wary of anything that opposes them in any form possible. We must understand, as a people, that this is the harsh reality of war sometimes. Sometimes, there are no heroes. There are no valid or honest saviors who have the best intentions of these poor humans subjected to such crueler fates.
The unfortunate truth of most wars is that the mass majority of a society may never honestly know what caused it.
They may be oblivious to the greed of those in power positions. Perhaps it was resources that inspired a nation to go into another foreign country. Or, maybe it was to gain new territory for an empire.
Either way, the people during any wartime are likely to feed partial truths with the coupling of partial lies. This kind of façade confuses and off-puts truth seekers from actually finding the real reason as to what caused a war to begin with.
But not all hope is lost.
During these times of war, this is when men and women become tested. They become tempered and aware of their environment. They understand the actual realities of the world. This is for both its horrors and, shockingly also, for its beauties as well.
This is when people begin to realize what life is like at its most basic level. Such insight indeed makes people wiser and more willing to admit to the harsher side of life in the world.
People can react to this internal change in one of two manners. They can either grow and become stronger from this devastating experience, or they can close themselves off from everyone else and discard the entire world. But either way, the experience of war has changed them whether they want to admit this or not.
War affects us all to some level in the modern-day world.
We have, at some point, heard of atrocities unthinkable and of horrible acts of cruelty which dismantle our very perception of “other” people outside of our own comfort zones. But the truth of the matter is simple; it all goes back to what I once stated before.
Somewhere down the line, there is an intentional misunderstanding or a deep-seated desire for greed. And this always comes from the topmost section of our society. So don’t ever forget that.
Everything that happens in the world was allowed to happen.
Forever in Your Debt,
Leon R.M. Auguste