Broken Promises

War promised to win, to stamp out evil. The more we wage war, the more evil worms its way into our world. We attack it in one place; it changes form and crops up somewhere else. We assume that if we kill enough evil, goodness will simply rise up spontaneously. This is a deadly error. Goodness isn't just what "happens" when evil is eradicated. Goodness is something that must be cultivated, planted tended, grown : like growing wheat. But we've left the fields and gone off to war.

Ultimately war is an attempt to control. If we want to say no to it, we must trade in our impulse to control for a desire to influence. We can't make life or people do what we want. What we can do is influence them. Nothing influences people more toward goodness than love. When we realize that life is inherently uncontrollable (the only way to truly control it is to kill it!), we will return our attention to mastering the art of influence that we have abandoned for the promise of control.

Only love will increase goodness and make the world a better place. If love seems impotent, it's only because we've starved it of its creativity, energy and respect, choosing instead to pour these into war and control.

What would happen if, instead of pouring resources into war, people poured into prisons : teaching, validating, restoring, confronting and provoking offenders to be whole? What would happen if we went into juvenile homes, claimed these children as our own and acknowledged that we have failed them? What if we wanted them to change for their own benefit rather than for ours : that is, simply because we love them?

We want goodness without the bother of having to love people. That's the promise of war: that we can make people be good without loving them. How many times must this promise be broken before we realize it's a lie and abandon it?

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