I just finished watching most of a documentary called “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.” I say “most” because the dvd kept skipping at about 2/3 of the way in so I gave up trying to finish it.
It was fascinating. What I saw of it, anyway. It covered history at a time when I was alive but not very aware.
No, I wasn’t a pothead. I wasn’t tripping on acid.
I was 3.
As in, years old.
But that period of our history has always fascinated me. So much so, that when I was in high school (wearing tie dye and walking around barefoot and protesting the god-awful hot lunches) my friends would often say I was born in the wrong era.
At various times of my life and for various issues, I have swung both sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes more left, sometimes more right. Usually hovering somewhere in the middle.
I love peace. I want peace. I pray for peace.
Make love, not war.
Wrapping my head around why war is necessary? Very difficult for me.
And for some of you.
But not everyone. There are bullies out there. And the self-righteous. People afflicted with severe tunnel vision. And people who will think their way is the only way until the day they die. And they’re even willing to die trying to make you and me think the way they think.
History has taught us that.
I remember a recent discussion with my husband about the wars around the world. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Mexican drug wars. I said, “If we could just declare peace why can’t the killing just stop? What if we truly did practice the non-violence messages of Ghandi, King and Lennon?” My husband shook his head, “That would mean everyone would have to agree with you. And they won’t. You have to defend yourself. Look where it got the Tibetans.”
All we are saying, is give peace a chance.
A beautiful, amazing, wonderful, glorious message. The problem is, everyone has to be on board. Everyone has to be willing to compromise. And compromise is difficult. Because then no one is happy. Each involved has given up something for the greater good. Leaving the perfect opening, the perfect opportunity for dissent to rear its ugly head and stir up conflict again.
As short-sighted as I believe some peace-loving, political activists can be – their message is perfect, simple and pure. And their efforts to swing everyone their way is difficult but, oh, so admirable.
What saddens me, is how futile their efforts seem 40 years later.