Monday, December 15, 2008

Nothing in Between


A friend of mine and I were having lunch with some other friends yesterday, and the conversation somehow drifted to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. My friend was a little unsure what to think about the war that Bush started as a response to the 9/11 bombings and is now being escalated by this new administration -- he was kind of leaning towards agreeing with the decision of this president to focus the war on Afghanistan. I said that I beg to disagree, and he said: "What else do you think we can do to stop the Al Qaeda and the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and Pakistan"? I said, we can stop this cycle of violence by helping the people of Afghanistan, instead of bombing them; by helping poor nations instead of exploiting them. By teaching our children nonviolence instead of vengeance; guiding them towards humanism, instead of grooming them towards more consumerism. We have to reconcile with our past, because only then can we move ahead towards a more human future.

Another friend asked: What do you mean "to reconcile"? I answered that every aspect of our past and present -- as a species and as individuals -- should be reconciled; every aspect of human relations, endeavor, art, culture, science, history, etc. should be reconciled. Without reconciliation, there could be no integration; and without integration, there could be no going forward. Without going forward, there is no future. Without future, there could only be death.

Reconciliation or death. Nothing in between.