For this special edition of Blogblast for Peace, I'd like to focus on one question:
Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?
For me, the conflict in Ukraine is shining a huge spotlight on all the things that need to change before humans can ever hope to have world peace.
It's impressive how many countries are offering homes to Ukrainian refugees, but also completely hypocritical. The UK voted for Brexit in large part to stop the influx of migrant workers and refugees. They have even tried to make it illegal for ships to rescue refugees at sea. In the USA, Americans who voted for Trump wanted pretty much the same - no more refugees, no more illegal immigrants. Build that wall! Similar in Australia, with their refugee detention centres.
If you are completely behind your country allowing in Ukrainians, but not willing to speak out at those refugees dying in oceans and trucks, still held in detention centres, then you are part of the problem.
|By Adam.J.W.C. - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14985392|
A 2016 study by Carnegie Mellon University
professor Dov Levin found that the United States intervened in 81
foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, with the majority of those
being through covert, rather than overt, actions.
A 2021 review of the existing literature found that foreign
interventions since World War II tend overwhelmingly to fail to achieve
their purported objectives.
If you truly stand for Peace, for justice and a better way, you cannot pick and choose which country you support. That's how world wars start, when others "pick a side".
If you cannot be objective - you are part of the problem.
Wars and conflict do not start in a vacuum;
they tend to erupt after unresolved issues are ignored for decades
and/or when other countries intervene... and other countries do not
intervene unless there's something in it for them. Humans as
individuals can be caring and altruistic, but world governments are
rarely into self-sacrifice for the Greater Good. Governments
do what is best for themselves and their country first. All of them. And
as such, their participation in any conflict is at best "dark grey" vs "light
If you see one side, in any conflict, as "Good" and the other as "Evil" - you are part of the problem.
We now know that there were several German resistance movements who fought against the Nazis, but back in WWII the whole attitude was that EVERY German was evil. Britain rebranded products to remove any trace of Germany. So German Biscuits became Empire Biscuits and the British Royals dropped their German titles. And now I see people online talking about hating Russians, because of Ukraine. That they're not drinking Vodka any more because it is Russian... seriously?
Have we learned NOTHING?
If you think Russians are responsible for their leader's choices, then should those Americans who disliked Trump claim full responsibility for the things he did, even though they never voted for him? And do those Americans who did vote for Trump now feel they have to shoulder the responsibility for whatever Biden chooses to do? I doubt it. Everyday people have very little control over what their governments and leaders decide to do.
If you see ANY country's population as completely culpable for what their leaders/military do... you are absolutely part of the problem!
I know, because I lived in a country, tagged by many as "evil" -
Apartheid South Africa of the 1970s-80s. I know how complex and
many-layered the truth of a country can be, then
watch how it is over-simplified by the world news in order to stir up
emotional interest. South Africa has 11 official
languages, 6 major religions and, pre-1990, a racial classification
system of THREE segregated racial types.
I know how it feels to have strangers hate you simply because of the country you live in, not bothering to find out your opinions on that country. I recently posted an article on Farm murders in South Africa on Facebook. A British friend wrote back that he would not try to raise help and support because the farmers were "white" and (his words), "Well, what can you expect? Apartheid." Except this is now 30 years after Apartheid ended, and so those young thugs torturing and murdering people have never lived in anything but a free and completely equal society.
If you see any group as deserving death, pain and suffering... you are part of the problem.
I have no grand solutions to offer here, beyond this fact - we have to change how we deal with each other, or we will eventually destroy each other and our planet. Repeating the same old mistakes isn't good enough any more.