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Why We Fight?

Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA

Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA

For most people, holiday season is for family and friends. For me, it is also for catching up on war documentaries. This time I finished “The Vietnam Wars by Ken Burns”.

I was born during the end of the cold war era. I am fascinated by wars and WWII is my favourite war, if one can declare a favourite. I love the board game Axis and Allies and am addicted to all documentaries on war. Finally, during university, one of my roomates questioned me: “Why are you so entertained by war?” I have asked myself that question ever since.

DNA. I am a male homo-sapien sapien. As such I carry a big weight on my shoulders called Testosterone. This hormone enabled my species to survive in the challenging environment that was planet Earth. During our evolution our ancestors picked up a spear and drove it deep into the enemy’s heart and watched him bleed to death in front of his eyes. Those that did not do it, simply did not survive, or was not allowed to pass down their genes. I am here, therefore violence runs in my veins. There is no denying it.

Evolution. We are an evolving species. As opposed to sharks and crocodiles who remained largely unchanged for millions of years. 7.7 billion humans are evolving everyday on Planet Earth. Some evolve differently than others. Some evolve slower than others. Some may simply not evolve at all. 100% of all wars are fought over perceived differences. Much of that difference comes straight from the paths of our evolution.

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Ideology. Brain is the most powerful muscle in our body. Our thoughts govern our body and our actions. When enough brains are aligned to accomplish a task, big things get done. Unfortunately sometimes that means big wars happen too. Vietnam war was fought over ideology. It accomplished nothing other than population control and burning excess resources of the Western world.

I think all declarations of war should take place in front of the national cemetery. That way there is no hiding the true costs of violent actions to resolve a political difference. Whenever we let fear divide us we should look at the pictures of the victims of war. Brothers killing brothers will result in young children running down the road naked as their backs are on fire. At our moment of trials and tribulations we are choosing to devolve backward or evolve forward. Fear or Hope?

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In the end, I still really love playing Axis and Allies. I still am addicted to war documentaries. But that does not mean I find war enjoyable. I need to know about war and war strategies. As my dad taught me long ago:”Don’t start a fight, but if a fight starts make sure you know how to finish it on top.” I can never forget the image of the American and Vietnamese veterans embracing each other many years after the war. At that precise moment they discover the enemy is also made of flesh and blood; that he also has a warm beating heart; that all he wanted was to live in peace and harmony with his love ones. Their wounds may never heal but nightmares no longer rule their dreams.

May the new year be a new chapter in our evolution toward Human 2.0, with hope and love to all!

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