As soldiers, we are professionally bound to consider, discuss, and prepare for the next war. Even in a time of quiet peace we are continually sharpening our tools, challenging our bodies, and expanding our minds as we develop ourselves and our profession. Through our lifetime we have seen the face of war change drastically from the time of our fathers and the tools, ideas, and paradigms we find ourselves needing for our future are nothing like the ones with which we have come of age. These are times of great change, of shifting global paradigms, and emerging new realities. And if we wish to break our current cycle of endless war and deliver the prospects of true peace into the hands of our children we will need to definitively change the way we approach this problem…
I must admit that even at this time I am still not fully comfortable with this process and this line of thinking. Much like yourselves, I am still a student of this world and a dreamer of the new realities lying just beyond our current conceptual grasp. I understand that with this piece of work I am breaking the rule of not properly stating the problem, not describing my current operationalization of the “next war” before offering a solution or course of action. I do this for many personal and professional reasons, and I only wish to offer this work as a possible direction of travel and record of my thoughts at this point in our time. Regardless, I feel that this next war (if it can even be called a war) will not be fought by soldiers alone but by every member of our civilization, each in his or her own way, and I write these ideas for all who may be willing to read them and contribute to the discussion. My apologies if they are a bit rough and unrefined at this time but I guess we all have to start somewhere…
Give up your weapons, your stockpiles of arms, and your stores of emergency supplies…you won’t be needing them. Our society has been burdened with antiquated and grotesque conceptualizations of security based on fear, and in order to solve our current dilemmas it is best that we not resort to the same line of thinking we used when creating them. As times change, we will soon realize that you don’t obtain security by holding a bigger army, building larger walls, or creating a more all-knowing security structure. You obtain it by finding the light of peace within your heart and spreading it through your actions and ideas to the world. You will change nothing in this world without first changing yourself and giving up your fearful desires for your illusions of security is a good place to start.
Learn to simplify your life and your thoughts. We have been conditioned to worship the gods of complexity in our modern world. As a result, we view our society and its problems as too complicated to be solved, too difficult to even be addressed. Yet with a simple change of perspective even the most intimidating of obstacles can easily be overcome. As you continue to learn and grown in your world, appreciate the simple life and seek out basic, paradigmatic solutions to your problems. Challenge your existing thought patterns and break down your personal walls as much as you can. If you have to think hard about something there is probably a much easier way once you figure out how to open your heart and expand your mind.
Always choose Love over Fear. This one needs very little explanation, but very much practice. Love is the essence of human unity while fear embodies our differences and dualities. Break the grip fear holds over your life in every form though which it manifests. Seek true love in your every action, thought, and feeling. When you find it, never let go. In this game, Love will always conquer Fear and your greatest enemies are not much different from yourself. After all, we are all human and we are all in this together.
Cease attachment to material possessions and superficial comforts. This does not mean sell all of your possessions and take up the life of a hermit. Our material comforts are powerful tools in that they allow us to dedicate our time to more worthwhile endeavors and relationships. Just keep in mind that as tools they are meant only to be used as such and do not confuse them with any ends in and of themselves. In a world full of change, the greatest tools you have are your human mind, your human body, and your human heart and these will always be with you until the end of your days. Everything else will come and go as you walk the path of your life. Enjoy the opportunities these things give you while you have them but prepare yourself so that you do not miss them too much when they are gone. Nothing is permanent in this world and the more you choose to delude yourself with permanence the more pain you will likely experience.
Strengthen and deepen your personal relationships. The people in your life right now are some of the most amazing individuals to ever walk this planet. Take the time to get to know them and embrace their presence in your life. Each one of them has powerful and important lessons to teach you and it is likely they are in your life at this time for reasons you cannot yet perceive. The work we do cannot be accomplished in solitude and it is only through others that we can truly learn to grow ourselves. Love each person in your life as you are learning to love yourself and embrace the power of your interpersonal connections. They will not disappoint you.
Embrace the beauty of every moment. This life is truly amazing in that it gives us innumerable opportunities to learn, love, and grow in our understanding. The problem is that many of us are too preoccupied with our thoughts to truly appreciate the lessons life leaves before our eyes. Slow and quiet your inner dialogue. Take the time to live in the moment. Smile as much as possible. And see what amazing experiences and lessons you can find in your everyday life. By opening your eyes to the small things you can learn to open your heart to the important things. And you might even be a bit happier as a result.
Work for the world of your grandchildren…stay engaged. You are intimately connected to this world and to the future of our beloved human race whether you choose to acknowledge it or not at this time. Your every action, thought, and intention will ultimately echo across time and build the world your grandchildren might one day inherit. Let’s work together to build a better tomorrow for their sake. Stay engaged but not attached to the affairs of men, nations, and ideas. There is no cutting yourself off from our human condition. Remember that your true work often has little to do with your chosen job or profession, and don’t get too caught up or attached to your professional endeavors. Seek to do real work every day of your life and never give up on your dreams of a better tomorrow. Your grandchildren will one day thank you for your efforts and your love. And you will have some incredible stories to tell them.
The next war will be nothing like anything we have yet experienced and the means of winning it will be different from anything we currently understand. Rather than being fought with arms and men it will be fought quietly in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. In order to prevail and thrive as a species we must first vanquish our inner demons and seek our new paradigms and new realities based on human love and unity. None of us can avoid this experience but all of us can learn to embrace it. The trick is to make our next war resemble nothing like the wars we think we know. In the end, we must learn that the only way to win a war is to refuse to fight it. Walk fearlessly into the future you choose to create, my friends. What if they tried to have a war and no one came? I’ll see you on the road. In Love and In La’kesh.
6 FEB 14, 2000(L), Raeford, NC, USA