Moss-covered Monk

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Daily Musing - March 24th, 2013 - War - 戰爭 - Zhànzhēng

War - 戰爭 - Zhànzhēng

Ignorance and ingenuity combine
to develop deadly technology
while claiming exemption
from dire responsibilities.
We push the boundary,
but what lies beyond?
Weapons, tools designed for death,
are wielded without restraint.
Their use becomes unavoidable
as tempers flare
and the mind errs
towards despair.
The greatest sorrow:
bearing witness to atrocity-
the product of humanity.

~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao

  
Hold a rifle in your hands, and you will sense the character within the wood and steel. It begs you to use it. You feel invigorated by its fearsome power. Its primary purpose is to deal death from a distance. The craft of killing has been honed so finely that it is possible to discern the source of this nether energy if you observe this object closely. The refinement of the rifle's design resulted from the intention of gunsmith to improve effectiveness.

It is most regrettable that weapons are a necessity, at times. This occasional use is not reprehensible in cases where survival dictates self-defense. The wise only go forth into battle as a last resort. You will never hear one these sages be self-congradulatory, nor will they rejoice or seek to glorify the coming of war. 

When death, pain, and destruction affect your friends, family, or yourself, the damage is often catastrophic. What hurts even more than enduring pain yourself is to bear witness to the suffering of someone you love and cannot save. At times, we are burdened by the regret of indecision, having witnessed the worst of humanity and yet been unable to act. The pain of being unable to help the helpless often results in a festering wound upon one's spirit.

Mankind is not moved past the desire for war, and thus, one must remain cautiously aware of potential dangers ahead. If you are forced to personally represent your country in a time of war, the line must be drawn in the sand by your hand alone. Sacrifice your ideals, sign on the dotted line, and start thinking about survival. It may help your conscience to give in to the fury, rising like a fog from the dark soil of the killing fields, but keep this in mind before you draw that last deep breath.

You cannot go back.

Think before you act. 

You may be forced to take a life, and this will alter you forever. This is why very few set their sights on a life of combat. The stakes are not merely your life, but your very humanity.