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action blacklivesmatter life-lessons peace philosophy

There is only one key to Peace

and it’s a hard pill to swallow

Photo by Corey Young

“To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men”- Ella Wilcox

Someone has rightly said, ‘the aim of war is peace’. ‘Day’ can’t be reached without going through the ‘night’. Silence has no meaning without the existence of noise. ‘Highs’ in life have no meaning without the ‘lows’. Mountains are only possible because there is the existence of valleys.

“If all nights are legendary then no nights are legendary”- Ted Mosby

But the mind of man has always wanted to choose between the seeming opposites. He wants happiness and to do away with pain. He wants to have peace and escape the tension. He desires to protect good and destroy evil but he fails to understand that when he saves good, evil survives too. Happiness can only be felt because there was suffering. That’s why without violence, peace cannot be achieved.
Man longs to accept the light and deny darkness. He craves to cling to pleasure and to shun pain and from these choices arises duality, which brings conflict and pain. To end this conflict, he has to accept the mutual existence of opposites.
That’s why,

VIOLENCE IS THE ONLY KEY TO NON-VIOLENCE

Long term peace is unattainable without violence. According to Newton’s First Law of motion too, an object will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force. You can only think of ending violence using non-violence but you’ll never succeed without external force.
It’s wrongly propagated that India got independence due to Gandhi’s non-violence. In reality, WW2 brought Britain down on its knees and it was more feasible for it to leave the colonies than waste its resources in ruling such vast regimes. So, violence in WW2 was the cause whose effect was the independence of India and not mere non-violent public Movements.

In terms of war too, we want to choose. We want to keep peace and eliminate conflict and struggle but the route to peace goes through conflict and struggle. The war here doesn’t only mean conventional war but also the war against everything oppressing- Racism, Sexism, Poverty, etc. Similarly, Violence doesn’t only mean raising arms but also raising a voice.

I am not a supporter of war for war’s sake like Hitler was:

I’m not a warmonger. I’m just saying escaping war and violence is not always the right answer.
You should make every effort possible to avoid war and violence but never escape the war at the cost of life, truth, and freedom. That’s why the #blacklivesmatter movement is right in every sense.
I am not a pacifist who advocates non-violence even when the action has to be taken against terrorist organizations or oppressive regimes. After all, there should be a limit to our efforts to avoid war.
Answer this honestly, You want to avoid war and violence so that it does not hurt people and harm life, But what if the life itself is hurt and harmed or is on the verge of extinction by prevention of the war?
Then prevention has no meaning.
You want to prevent war so that peace is preserved But is it sensible to raise voice against war if peace suffers because of it?

If the time comes when for the good of mankind war becomes necessary,-and such time always comes-then it is really bad to fight the war with a reluctant and heavy heart.
A defensive mind will never be able to gather the strength and intelligence necessary to win a war. Additionally, your inaction will only raise the morale of the oppressors.
Don’t forget that most of the countries were enslaved by the attackers or became colonies of powerful countries because they were too reluctant to fight a war. Similarly, poverty and mediocrity in life is nothing but the result of a lack of courage and fearlessness in our lives.

“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” -John F. Kennedy

Be against violence and starting the war but don’t be afraid of it. One who is afraid of war is afraid of life itself.

Photo by Simone Fischer

Those who think war is just destructive have a parochial view

Everything has good as well as bad consequences. Without good effects, bad effects are simply not possible, and vice versa. Our vision is sometimes too short to see either the good outcomes or the bad ones. Technology, religion, superstition, or war-everything has bad and good effects in proportion.
War has played the biggest role in the development of civilization. The roads and highways you see today were first built to facilitate the movement of the armies. The houses and buildings you see today are just a refined form of castles that were initially built to keep the enemy out. Technological advancement of America or China is the result of preparedness for war.
The worst affected countries in WW2 are among the most developed economies in the world today.
How? you ask,
See, War creates such a state of tension in the mind of a man and presents such challenges, that his dormant energies are shaken to the root and as a result, he awakens and acts. His fight or flight response makes him take hard decisions and risk anything for the sake of the survival of his kind.
In this way you can say, fear is also a good thing. It makes you alert. It tells your brain to function in full capacity because you might be onto something important. Without necessary fear, you will take the otherwise fatal situation very lightly.
Hence fear is not a bad thing in itself. How you react in the presence of fear makes it bad or good for you. The same goes for war. War brings forth dynamism. We can afford to be lazy in times of peace only. But challenges like war bring out the best in us.

For example, we might have a vaccine for Covid-19 in 6–10 months which would otherwise take years for development.
Similarly, the Wright brothers were never able to perfect the plane. Curtiss on the other hand not only perfected it but also made millions because his company manufactured planes for the U.S army. By the end of World War I, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company claimed to be the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world and produced 10,000 aircraft during that war, and more than 100 in a single week Whereas Wright brothers went bankrupt.

Non-violence is sometimes more torturous than violence :

Pain from non-violence is longer and inevitable too. Physical injuries heal with time. But You can’t do anything about psychological pain stemmed from your inaction. The reaction is only possible when there is some action. In violence, there is a possibility of ending the pain by indulging in counter-violence and ending the war, once and for all.

However, you can’t do anything about non-violence because there is no action. If you’ll use force, you’ll again suffer from psychological pain of using the action on someone non-violent. And if you don’t, you have to adhere to any demand of non-violent person which you don’t want to or can’t.
That’s why silent treatment by your spouse or girlfriend is so hard to bear. It’s non-violent but more torturous psychologically.

Don’t wear the mask:

Somebody asked the Joker,’ Why do you wear the mask on your face?’
He replied,
‘Everyone wears it, Mine is visible to the Naked eyes’

We all cover our ugliness with beautiful words. Our cowardice is hiding behind our talks of non-violence. Our fear of death is disguised by our opposition to violence. Our refusal to fight necessary wars will simply be seen as the invitation to wage war on us. It will result in slavery and oppression. History tells us, One who refuses to fight will be attacked by an external power, who will then make them their slaves. Eventually, they’ll be forced to join their armies and fight their wars.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche also argues that Christianity had appeared in the late Roman Empire in the minds of timid slaves, who had lacked the required endurance which is needed for anything one wants in life and so had adhered to a philosophy that made a virtue of their cowardice. He further says,

“In the Christian value system, sexlessness is turned into purity; weakness became goodness; and submission to people one hated became obedience.”

For my whole life, I was like Hindu God Ram. I never stepped out of my limits. I sacrificed everything for my principles and my character even my happiness, dignity, and peace of mind.

Then one day I realized, I need to be like Hindu God Krishna. I need to accept life as a whole. The serenity, peace, happiness, and growth of life were in choicelessness. That is to accept life unconditionally- right and wrong, Day and night, good and evil, war and peace, violence, and non-violence.
Life is full of ‘either’ and ‘or’-Black or white, yes or no, love or hate. It is polar.

And the key to Ideal life is maintaining a balance between the two.


There is only one key to Peace was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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