Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Loyalty and Patriotism...and Peace

Today's Holidailies theme is "Let There Be Peace on Earth." Although a little notebook sits in front of me with a few writing ideas, this one sounded like a good one.

Today's picture was shot on Fourth Street. I'll leave the symbolism of the flags to the readers with this one tip: the OCH is the bar's initials where the flags fly.

There has never been peace on earth, evidently. I'm no historian, but war, killing and conflict seems to propel history. It almost seems, dare I say it, necessary? If you are Christian and believe that capital G God (yours) "so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish" then you still have to admit that you might die in a war promoted by religion and enjoy that endless life in a metaphysical way after a not so peaceful existence on earth.

The thing is: we promote loyalty to (fill in the blank) and patriotism which is loyalty to a loose amalgamation of people with artificially drawn boundaries. Be true to your school. Fight for your rights. Respect the flag. Flags representing ideas that draw us together and apart from others.

Don't get me wrong. I understand fighting. If someone votes to make you a second class citizen because of (fill in the blank), then you fight. If you compete in athletics or business, you show up to play and win and defeat others.

Where does the peace come in? And would we even recognize it when we saw it?

I feel that the first step to peace on earth is understanding what propels the opposite state which is conflict and war and competition and, dare I say it, differences of religion. When you say that it sounds so silly. Just as silly as in 1963 when John Lennon wrote words that still sound, well, like a wish for a world completely different from the earth of our history.

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

John Lennon, 1963

2 comments:

Old Woman said...

This is a wonderful, daring piece. It saddens me to read about how parents try to teach religion and patriotism to their children, and in so many cases end up with intolerance and lazy thinking.

Anonymous said...

Linda,

How appropriate your assertions are.
Check out Vie Spinner Blog spot - you two might get along!