Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Civil War

What does civil war mean?

Civil | Definition of Civil by Merriam-Webster
1 : of or relating to citizens <civil rights> 2 : of or relating to matters within a country. 3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion. 4 : polite without being friendly <Those men, they used to be best friends.

While trying to sleep this morning (4:00), the phrase Civil War, the war of brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor against neighbor, kept hazily moving through my brain.  The war of all against all; no friends, no enemies.  Why, and what does it all mean?  In our biblical folklore it began with Cain slewing Able.    Later we have the patriarch Abraham and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac, from whom many believe became the division between Jew and Muslim or Palestine and Israel.  Of course we are all familiar with the divisions between the same peoples.  African tribes selling other tribes into slavery.  Native American tribes at war with one another until they faced a common enemy in the new white settlers in the Americas. European boundaries shifting again and again throughout history.  The peoples of Asia fighting war against each other over and over.
It would appear the largest common denominator among men is their willingness to fight against their brothers, their tribes, and their peoples, spreading blood, carnage and war,  whether within or against families, or the world at large.   

I always found it strange that a family I know which has four children I have always seen the enmity they had against one another even as little children.  They always seemed to feel their mom and dad loved the other sibling better than they did  the one.  In the early days it was sister against sister and later brother against brother in this little family of four.  They presented a solid front against the world at large but seemed to really hate each other within the little family.  Christmas day used to be a nightmare as the children squabbled over who got the best presents and there were always tears and hurt feelings.  This enmity, by the way, has continued between the two girls to this day.  They are both born again ultra right conservatives, as are their husbands,  but they can hardly be in the same room together without fighting.  They say they all love each other but the emotions which separate them seem much stronger than the similarities in their belief systems.
My own sister and I used to have battles and hurt feelings but I used to think it was because of the eight year separation in our ages rather than innate rancor.  We fought as children and later as young adults but seem to have come to a commonality in our belief systems in our later years and we really do love each other.
I have tried and tried to reason out what circumstances can cause such difference in view among the same people or tribe but I am still at a loss.
I know it is not just culture because the difference in beliefs of far right Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other religious groups comes down to restricting the freedom of the same things. Woman's rights, music, drugs, books, sexuality, you name it.   When it comes down to a difference of beliefs or opinion  they all act out in the same way.  The same is true for Liberals or Progressives.  Group think is the common ground for all parties. I really could go on and on as I have fought through these thoughts for many hours but the end of my conclusions is there cannot ever be any peace in this world.  It really is not about color, religion, culture, sex or anything else.  There is no reason to it among reasonable mankind.  Difference and righteousness are what it all seems to be about.  I know I am no different that anyone else in these groups.  I hate with the same intensity and seem to find almost nothing I can agree with on the other side.
Someday the lion and the lamb may indeed lie down together.  If animals are protected, have enough food and territory to live comfortably they do seem to become friends.  Mother cats nurse baby dogs and even mice, and chickens protect kittens under their wings.  There are so many animals videos out there of dogs and elephants and even lions and men and women who raised them, never losing their love and affection for each other.  I do not really understand animal behavior but I think I understand humans even less.
When a people who live in the USA with all the creature comforts one needs to survive continue to work totally against one another, I can only feel there is no hope for mankind.  There is enough wealth in this country to supply the highest standard of living for all of our people.  We would be required however to share the wealth which is alien to almost all of us.  Our differences separate us much more then our commonalities.   We all bleed when we are injured and require food, water and shelter to survive.  the actual differences between peoples are such superficial things as skin color, hair color, eye color, build and facial characteristics like noses, eye shape, lips etc.  Except where there is a physical problem we all have two of each arms, legs, feet and hands and two eyes and two ears.   I used to try and explain our differences by right and left brained people but science has proven me wrong here.
All humans react in the same ways to difference, inclusion and exclusion and  conservative or liberal mindsets.  The extremes of these commonly held views may be labeled tea party, libertarian, progressive or even as Whigs and Tories but they all break down to the same hatreds and misunderstandings no matter how we label them.  Human kind will not ever come together and all we can ever hope for is relative peace among our peoples.
So what can we do with this dismal situation?  I really believe prayer is important for each individual to come to grips with his or her own nature: and that peace can only be held by an individual who is willing to give himself up for the needs of others.  Our heroic models for peace all shared one thing in common, they were willing to lay aside their own interests and sacrifice their lives for others.  The rest of us are left with our shitty little self interests flawed relationships until our Creator intervenes.