This I Believe

Jana - Houston, Texas
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: war

As an unwavering rule of thumb, teachers, parents, and adults in general have consistently and strictly enforced young children to yield in their inclinations to fight and instead express their feelings. Whether or not these urges to fight are innate is irrelevant. This effort to prevent fighting, however, is so deeply ingrained in our society that those who do not abide by these codes of seemingly sensible ethics are equally, when not overly, reprimanded. This practice is exemplified in the today’s societal admonishments of time-outs, groundings, and in the worse possible cases verbal and physical abuse. Yet, by the age of 18, the now adult child has a choice juxtaposed to the one forced on to the child. A choice allowing the adult to go against everything he or she was taught as child, to join the armed forces and to become a part of a governmental institution not only approved, but revered by almost all higher authority. However, this double standard defines the firmly established policies of the United States of America.

Within our own country we, the ‘civilized’ civilians, do not fight each other when we strive for change or action. We stand strong alongside others with whom we see eye to eye and protest as the first step for change. We do not attack one another. We do not plot and massacre and seek revenge. No, all of these are childish acts of cowardice. True leaders, true activists seek not to destroy opinions but better inform with another proving logically and not forcefully one’s purpose. However, hardly ever in the history of all battles, wars, and fights has information been liberally spread to prove a purpose. Fear was spread. Lies were spread. Any truths overtaken by battle were destroyed. Why was it decided that within our own country peaceful protests and petitions were a reasonable form of disagreement, while as soon as we cross our nation’s borders a new line of regressive thought inundates the basis of reason a civilized nation depends? War, the systematic destruction of any size of any area in any time, is never to be tolerated while the thirst for peace still rests in those who care to make change in the world.