War. What is it good for? Something like that. I’m not a fan of war. It saddens me and makes me angry. I’m sure there are more than a few who share the sentiment. Recently I mentioned this to a friend who replied that there was some “funny shit” if you looked into wars. And I was skeptical and the topic was dropped. But I thought I’d ask “what’s funny about war?” during a conversation yesterday and he provided several examples that were indeed chuckle worthy. It isn’t that the wars themselves were at all funny. They were serious, devestating and world changing. But his stories brought to the forefront that tough times, war in particular, brings out the best (and worst) of human ingenuity. We get seriously creative (and yes, I realize, cruel) when our honor, soil or ideals are on the line.

It also led me to this conclusion; conflict is at the core of what it is to be human. It’s really a sad thing and means we are better off scrapping the whole plan and turning the world over to the dogs and cockroaches, but it is part of our fabric. We are angry and cruel in the same way we are passionate and creative. The thing that makes us believe in a thing so deeply that we’d die for it, is the same thing that drives us to create art and music and find ways to live longer and travel further into the stars. I know some of you are bucking against this right now. We can still be friends. I’m not absolute in my rightness about this. It’s just a feeling I have. A feeling that if you take out this component, we’d all lie down. One by one bits of the thing that is human would dribble out of us. Or maybe we’d take it away if we could. If we could breed out the desire to war, why not jealousy? Why not faith? Love? Hope? All of those things lead to conflict. They create a desire to possess or destroy or to bend others to our will.  

when the cruelest and most desperate of our kind rise up and try to take what’s ours (our security, our peace, our free will) we fight back. And we prove that we are a creative and passionate species, even when our creativity leads to a mutually assured destruction stalemate. War drives us to want the better life because it reminds us that it can be so bitterly bad.

I’m not sure what this ramble is all about. As much as I’d like to raise my child in a world without conflict, conflict makes us. We either rise and prove that we can engineer a solution, be it violent or peaceful, or we roll over and die. That’s the  funny thing about war in my mind; we need it to prove our humanity.

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