History repeats itself – is oft repeated & and proves true often; especially, when greed goes overboard! Crashes in financial markets revisit us for the same reason when reason & caution take a back seat. Also, the basic human traits cannot be forgotten even when things are hunky dory, as they turn on their head in no time. Friends become villains overnight; applies for individuals, as well for countries.
While friendship is not easy to cultivate & takes longer time; enmity is bred much easier, mostly with imaginary fears, with even others playing villain to suit their interests. Some countries are mired in enmity & and war mongering and is worse if they are neighbors, as both have to buy arms for protection from each other; mostly, buying from the same sources! Isn’t it much easier to sort out the issues than be poisoned by thoughts instilled by others to play one against another? But humans have failings which are extrapolated to country levels; politics also playing its part.
South & North Korea are at each other’s throats, with resultant huge costs to both but peace is so much easier; it all boils down to one man’s self-interest! India & Pakistan are similarly at logger-heads though they would benefit from peace. Pakistan is fighting several enemies, and the innocents pay the price. The issues are blown out of proportion, even their raison d’être is based on enmity with India, though people at ground levels identify with similar problems of life & death; poverty can be alleviated if defense costs are cut! Also, the terrorists can be isolated. But historical baggage prevents quick-fixes like in the Korean Peninsula. Again, issues are simmering in South China Sea with many claimants of oil/gas rich islands; surely none will give-in!
Technology is making it clear that people’s interests are same everywhere. There are the rich & the poor and also those disadvantaged fighting for survival against heavy odds. The rich can move across the world & for them the entire world is their oyster! How relevant are then these open wounds for a man in the street, braving all odds to make a living, but made worse by historical baggage passed down generations?
Is it not time compromises are made to accept & put in the back-burner certain historical facts & get on with life to improve the lives of the common man? What use stoking the hatred between people, similarly placed, keeping them at logger heads, to fight for perceived injustices of the past? And also, why play into the arms of the arms merchants trading their multi billion products, which kill more innocents in the name of defense?
What captures the fancy of the young are same everywhere. But they are divided by history, religion etc., having been sown hatred in their minds. There are much more positives to be reaped, if our resources & time are channeled into productive & unified activities for a brighter future underscored by human empathy to uplift the poor everywhere. It is time history is remembered for the right reasons than for vengeance to get even. Gandhi’s words, that an eye for eye, tit for tat, will make the whole world blind, are spot on!
In a way history is like democracy to the poor, what use if they do not serve the purpose to uplift them? A person, who is suffering, needs succor than diversions from his realities. We have to rethink as one, not to be enslaved by history which after all can be interpreted to suit the ends of wily politicians for their benefit. The welfare of the poor is the need of the hour, which will ultimately prove a calming influence than wars waged & soon after peace treaties entered into, and is back to square one; only more lives lost in vain! We need to put history in its place and not waste precious resources & time confronting our past demons, which are more in our minds than in fact! We should not be enslaved by our past mistakes and hounded by them forever! Maybe the young will soon show the way for our salvation!