This I Believe

Alvaro - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: peace

A belief that is hold to be true is that hate breeds hate and violence causes more violence. I believe that war is a permanent solution, but peace is a permanent one. Our world, since the beginning of time has seen war and bloodshed. Man has used war as a tool to solve disputes and settle claims. But has war really finally put a stop to our world long-lasting troubles. For centuries men have gone to war thinking that by waging this war, there will finally be peace. World War I was supposed the war to end all wars. How many fathers have gone off to war thinking that by fighting this war, their sons wouldn’t go through the same horrors, only to have their sons fight in World War II years later. After all we must realize that man will never stop fighting for what he believes in and will never give up. These uplifting words also ring true for the fact that men will wage war until he has won. Some people, such as the Palestinians or Israelis, are willing to fight one another until they reach their objectives no matter how long this takes.

Now my belief need not be applied strictly to world affairs. The same idea also applies on an individual scale. This goes on and on and turns into a vicious cycle. The saying “an eye for an eye” will solve nothing because no one wants to accept defeat and everyone wants to come out on top. But how to put an end to this cycle? As Mahatma Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. When will this ever stop?

I believe that non-violence is the solution. If hate breeds hate, the love breeds love. Yes, war has solved many disputes over time, but in modern times it has been movements based on non-violence that has shown more success. Events such as the Civil-Rights movement and the independence of India were examples of “conflicts” won by never firing a bullet. I think that peaceful solutions to all of the world’s problems will have a more lasting effect that simple blowing each other up until only one is left standing. Because no one likes to accept defeat, a likely outcome of war. Going back to my example of the struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians, we see that this conflict has been going on for years, with no end in sight. Every time a Palestinian bomb goes off in an Israeli building, Israelis retaliate by placing a bomb of their own and vice-versa. This show of power by each side is done to intimidate and shock the other side. What I would say to one of these individuals who supports the use of suicide bombers and attacks on innocents is that people are accustomed to seeing violence, it’s a part of their lives. A way to really shock the “enemy” is by forgiving them and showing them that violence leads to more violence and the only way to break the cycle is to shake hands. After all shaking hands with the enemy and understanding each other shows more strength that one hundred bombs ever could.