Friday, July 29, 2011
In 1914 World War One saw the deaths of nearly the whole adult generation of the time - millions of men in uniform from all over the world. The "War to end all Wars" American President, Woodrow Wilson, called it. Twenty years later, the unthinkable occurred - it started all over again; and some would argue (looking at 20th Century history) that World War Two never really ended.
It is my belief that these two major conflicts (and the wars and "Police Actions" that followed) effectively blocked the transmission of the rules of civilised society from the generation that followed.
Many people today have not been taught the right way to interact with others. What about the respect for others and their property? If anything is found, the prevailing view would seem to be, "Tough luck. It's mine now." Where once we would immediately take it to the nearest Police Station.
Police seem to be viewed with contempt, and usually those who sneer at the police are the first ones to call on them when they are threatened or in trouble. Of course, later they all go back to sneering at the Police again.
I have personally witnessed drunken louts abusing Ambulance Paramedics who were trying to save the life of an injured motorcyclist.
Thankfully, not all people today are like this. Enough members of the Armed Forces returned from conflict to pass on the rules of society to their children so that the ways of polite, respectful behavior have not been lost. The Armed Forces still induct recruits to carry on the proud traditions of their parents and grandparents; and we should always remember that those who lose their lives in foreign wars, as they were once called, chose their path in this life.
We cannot understand why those who fall in conflict chose the lives they did. We can only wonder at their altruism and their willingness to put themselves in harm's way so that others may live safely - and there are millions who do not enjoy the peace and comfort we do today.
How can we help? By doing what we can to help others - sometimes all we can do is put a few coins in a beggar's hand. Do some volunteer work - there is a multitude of opportunities for that in our society. But, more importantly, we can make sure our children and grandchildren are well versed in the way to treat others as you would be treated, so that the next generation will know that all people are valued in the eyes of God. Teach them that every person, every animal, even the very Earth that we walk on, is but an aspect of God, and should be treasured and nurtured as such. If we all work for this, then our world can truly become a heaven on Earth.