I cannot end the wars. I could call my congressman, send him emails, write editorials, and participate in anti-war marches until my feet fall off. No one gives a damn.
I could vote for a candidate who promised to end the wars, but would he do it? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I’m likely to be outvoted because my neighbors, my fellow citizens, seemingly don’t care that our sons and daughters are dying, killing themselves, and suffering catastrophic injuries on a daily basis. My hypothetical anti-war candidate would probably lose because so many Americans feel their freedom is in jeopardy and the only way to reverse this course is to murder as many foreigners as possible.
I cannot end the wars. You, if you are so inclined, cannot either. People tell me, and I’m paraphrasing, all you do is bitch on Facebook. You need to do something. Get off your ass and do something!
What, pray tell, is that? What can I do? Well, two things, I think.
First, I can discuss my ideas with others. I completely disagree that participating in internet debates is doing “nothing.” Talking to people, either in person or on-line, is one of the most effective tools available to express dissent. Ideas are the most powerful force in the world. An idea cannot be killed. It can be shared effortlessly and spread like wildfire. Indeed, persuading others with the free exchange of ideas and thoughts is one of the surest ways to promote change. As someone wiser than I once said, “No army can stop an idea whose time has come.”
The second thing I (and you) can do is this: I can choose to raise my children peacefully. I firmly believe that children who are raised free of aggression and coercion will carry those values into their adult lives. They will abhor violence. They will shun those who practice it. They will not speak that language. Their morality will not condone the use of force against anyone. They will only speak the language of love, cooperation, and voluntary association.
If all children were raised this way, within a generation or two, the wars would cease. The world would be at peace. So, use your voice. Speak out. Peacefully persuade others. And raise your children to reject violence. This how we end war, forever.