Archived Story

Let’s first clean up our own behavior

Published 10:07am Thursday, July 17, 2014

I  do not claim to understand all the ins and outs, the history and despair, of those who live in the Middle East. However, this is what I know for sure. Einstein was right when he said you can’t solve a problem on the same level of consciousness that created it. The level of consciousness that created the warring factions in Israel and Palestine was one of fear, anger and self-righteousness. Responding with fear, anger and self-righteousness only perpetuates the conflict and ensures it will never end. The level of consciousness that has a hope of fixing this is love, forgiveness and seeing us all as one. Love and forgiveness does not hurt one of its own.

I have seen the devastation and cruelty demonstrated by both sides, and it is heart-breaking. Looking in from the outside, you’d think those who have fought like this for years and decades would somehow, sometime, realize their approach is not working. At the very least, we can learn from our brothers and sisters who fight that fighting is not an answer. If they won’t choose peace for themselves, at least we can choose it for ourselves. Do you choose it for you?

Our natural instinct for self-preservation will often tempt us to fight back when we are attacked. It’s understandable that both sides of this conflict feel this powerful temptation. I suppose, when you’re in the heat of battle, its difficult to think clearly and realize your own response stimulates more of the same from your opponent. Once this is realized, however, realizing your own response stimulates more of the same from your opponent can be used as a powerful rationale for loving! Let us not criticize our neighbors on the other side of the planet without making the choices for ourselves we would wish them to make. Are you living in peace? Are you forgiving? Are you demanding justice? Do you need to come out on top? Do you need to be right? Or can you role-model harmony with those you disagree? Let’s clean up our own act, as we may be able to help others see the light if we have first seen the light ourselves.

It seems a little hypocritical that the United States would try to step in and create peace, when we demonstrate in our own Congressional leadership that we, too, do not know how to cooperate with each other but that we only choose to fight. Is this the blind leading the blind?

Fewer than 1,000 Palestinians and Israelis die per year in the Mideast conflict, yet more than 30,000 die every year in the U.S. conflict over guns. Maybe they know more about peace than we do? How about we join forces with the Mideast, and ask one of the top 20 most peaceful nations — Costa Rica, Canada, New Zealand, Japan or one of the European countries to teach us all how to love and respect each other? It could transform the world!

 

David Larson

Albert Lea