70 million people. That’s the number of people who died in WWII. About 25 million of them were soldiers. Whichever side they were on, either soldier or civilian, Allied or Axis, those men and women were the bravest of us all. They fought for what they believed, put their lives where their mouths were.
If only we were half as brave.
They forgot that peace is hard-fought but harder kept. We forgot that.
When things are good, we blame people for wanting better. When the world needed us the most, we could not even get off our asses to vote. The longest wait time to vote in the US is 45 minutes. 3/4 an hour to change the world. You’ll likely lead a life worth 40 million minutes. But giving up 0.000125% of your life to cast a vote is apparently too long for some people. For 40% of the population in fact. It’s understandable that some people will not be able to vote due to circumstances, but 40%? The US poverty rate is 14.5%, but even if given 20%, that’s still twice less than the number of people who voted.
We’re facing one the greatest challenges of our time, with climate change looking to devastate millions of lives and destroying civilization as we know it, while terrorism threatens entire continents. The world cannot afford another bump in the road, and yet, the world was given one.
And liberals are not free of blame either. They got complacent. For every battle won, they acted as if they’ve won the war. LGBT rights. Deconstructing the war on drugs. Progressive policies around the world. They partied and celebrated and patted backs and tooted horns. They forgot that peace is hard-fought but harder kept. We forgot that.
All this talk of assassinations and moving away from the States. It’s insane. It’s people who refuses to accept the reality of a choice they collectively built. Such a situation would never have happened if people had not been complacent. If people had voted. Because voting is how to make your voice heard. If you do not vote a certain way, it is then seen as a rejection of that manner of life. If you don’t vote for peace, leaders will assume to prepare for war.
If people truly wish to make this world a better place, stand your ground. That four square feet of land you stand on is not a birthright. It is not a gift. It is an inheritance given by those who came before us, who fought for us to stand on grounds we could call out own, so we could share that land with neighbours, to extend our reach to unite the world.
If someone threatens to shoot you. Hug them. If you are shot, continue to hug them. If you are dead, forgive. That is the only way for us to overcome the hate and bigotry. Not with inciting violence and anger. And if you do fight, fight for the lives of everyone around you instead of yourself. Put your lives on the line for the peace you believe in. When Obama transfer power to Trump, do not protest. The country has voted. Do so with peace and democracy will still stand. If things turn sour after, fight.
When the world wakes up to the next day, it will be a brave new world. I’ll be here. I’ll fight for your peace till my last breath.
Goodnight. Peace be with you.
Header image by Jayel Aheram (originally posted to Flickr as War and Peace) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons