Photo by Natasha Ivanchikhina on Unsplash
Today, the 8th of November, Remembrance Day is celebrated in many countries.
Wikipedia describes it as follows: "Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. It is held at 11am on the second Sunday in November (the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918). Remembrance Sunday, within the Church of England, falls in the liturgical period of Allsaintstide."
It's yet another event which I don't really understand. To me, what should be remembered is the dreadful things human beings were ordered to do against other human beings. Murder on a grand scale. Frequently heard at such ceremonies is the phrase "Never again". However, look at the world history and it's a history of conflict (see this incomplete list of wars from Britannica). As I wrote elsewhere, we human beings are not capable of learning the importance of things. So we glorify war; every man wants to be the Terminator and sees good reasons for that. Every woman knows that cooperation achieves everything while conflict only destroys.
What is wrong with our species? We have and have had so much wisdom shared through insightful people over the centuries, all of which points out that the only conflict worth the effort is in overcoming our own individual and personal war raging in our heads. There isn't a single management book which says the only way forward is to fight each other; no, they all emphasise teamwork and how much more can be achieved through cooperation than through conflict. But we persist in fighting and we don't care what or who gets destroyed in the process. That is deeply sick.
We have laws which say murder is a heinous crime, but we have institutions dedicated to the development of people and weapons to do precisely that. We justify killing en masse by an "it's us or them" mentality; a clinging to what we believe we have or have a right to. Given that each one of us is going to die and take nothing away from our stay on the planet, why are we so literally "hell bent" on destroying each other so we can have some kind of short term advantage?
Remembrance Day should be when we celebrate remembering how fortunate we are to have been given - note: given, not earnt or bought - this one lifetime and that is something to celebrate. Remember how much joy we can experience in doing good for ourselves and others; remembering not to waste our time in fighting and hating, but in loving and helping one another. Remember to measure our life in terms of happiness and joy, not in misery and pain.