“We can end war.”

“We can end war,” says Robert Koehler. And for the sake of our children, all children, we should.

As a father, on this Father’s Day 2013, I want to make this priority in the remaining years of my life: to end war on Earth, to believe that it’s possible and to help others to come to believe that it’s possible to end war.

For the sake of our children, how can I not?

Koehler says, “We can shut down this system of self-perpetuating violence and geopolitical chicken. We can dismantle the glory machine and redefine patriotism.” (Buzz Flash commentary.) Which is a key element in ending it – ending the notion that we who have participated in war are somehow heroic and should be glorified, honored, venerated for it. That we somehow were protecting freedom, democracy, our nation – anything – is a popular fiction generated by the war machine and those who profit from it.

The father’s day posts on the net are filled with images of soldiers and children, thanking them, glorifying them, honoring them. Which is very sad to me. I feel no glory, no honor in my participation. Only shame and guilt that I was not strong enough to say no and take the consequences.

The hard work of protecting our freedoms, our democracy, must be done here at home in the hearts and minds of our countrymen, helping them all to see their true citizenship is global, their true patriotism is to life and the Earth that supports it, not to some national idea. Nations and patriotism were born in war – the Hundred Years War, especially, when Englishmen and Frenchmen first began to think of themselves as such, primarily as contrasted to the ‘other’ whom they sought to destroy. (Read Hugo Grotius) To end war, we must end our mindless nationalism.

Koehler says that Judith Hand, an evolutionary biologist, writes in a proposal called “Moving From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Nonviolence: A Proposed Plan of Action To Shape History,” that the most important thing is to believe that it’s possible. Hand has a plan, and an organization, FACE – For All Children Everywhere – dedicated to ending war.

Hand’s website details this plan, and presents lots of resources. I’m making a commitment today to check into it. And I’m suggesting that all the fathers out there do the same.

Koehler suggests this starting point:

“We can look into the eyes of children, those we know and those we don’t know, and vow to protect them. We can start caring again about future generations and bring their well-being into our thoughts and plans.”

I think Father’s Day is the perfect time to do this.

 

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