“Countdown for the third world war started as soon as the second war world ended.”
When I first heard my friend saying this, I gave a snort of disapproval at his pun. Recollecting his words later, I couldn’t but ponder on the possibility of an approaching world conflict. Some believe that signs for the third world war are already evident. ‘It’s not a good omen’, others assert with fresh recollections of the September 11 attacks.
The 9/11 attacks have indeed left something in our hearts that just won’t go away. It’s an impression that’s impossible to erase and it’s not just about the sky-high fumes and earth shattering explosions. ‘It’s something much more denser and louder, it’s the outcry of desperate human souls and the echoes of impending doom’, they say. Personally, I am not that dramatic. I believe that conflict lies in the very core of human nature. There are always going to be wars. Centuries ago, we fought for food, settlements. Now we have evolved, we have created religions, politics and a whole new set of things. Essentially, we have just created new reasons to fight for. The odds are you are going to call me a pessimist or perhaps anti-social and in my own way, I agree. I am all of that and basically I am a human.
I feel that we are lying to ourselves when we say that we have evolved. Perhaps we do have evolved, evolved in numerous ways from our days in caves. But beneath all the decors of modernization, our primitive core lies intact, unperturbed by the tides of time. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, right or wrong. The truth is- it’s our truth, it’s just who we are and there is no escape. Perhaps like my friend, I believe that the clock was always ticking. It’s another thing that I couldn’t agree with him when he actually said that. Well, that’s me being a human! I need to defend my ideas and accepting something else isn’t actually convenient. And that’s what wars are about. Of course, there always are oils and mines to be captured, artifacts to defend but these are mere manifestations of our primitive defense mechanism.
We like to believe in omens and signs. We see catastrophes like the 9/11 attacks as signs of the impending doom. And there is a whole new uproar about the world ending in 2012. As heartbreaking and gloomy such events may be, we are perhaps missing the entire point. In fact, it’s not actually the ominous omens we are terrified of; we are just frightened of each other. We are frightened of what we have become and what we are capable of doing. The wars are never going to end because the terror that we feel captivating the world is the terror inside us and within us.
But is there no fathomable way to make this right? It’s a natural curiosity of our survival instinct. There are always some of us who believe in change. But change is an elusive idea. When the First World War ended, we felt we could change but that illusion just led us to a new one. And now when we are inconspicuously scrutinizing omens of the Third World War witnessing the world through a haze of war fumes, we realize how fragile our belief in change can be. It’s time for us to ask ourselves if we actually are as transformed as we would like to believe. Or are will still in modern caves of concrete defending nonexistent boundaries of identity? Beneath the debris of our conflict, we need to first accept ourselves for what we really are. Perhaps in that acceptance lies our salvation!
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