Today is the Anniversary of a War, and “Rage Has Only Hardened”

I am struck by the August 7, 2009 headline from the New York Times: “A Year After Georgian War, Rage Has Only Hardened.” The article can be found at:

I’m no expert in that region of the world, but it reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s observation, “an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” War, violence, revenge, retribution are a way of life for millions that haven’t been taught better. Economies are founded on a defense-industrial complex and advanced international relations’ theorists devise complicated game-theories to get the other side to cave to their bluffs; in the end the solution is usually termed as “non-optimal.”

A couple of paragraphs from the article point to how complicated it is to change mindsets once violations have occurred:

Meanwhile, in this valley, the rage has not abated, not at all. As they prepared to mark the war’s anniversary, Ossetians here referred to Georgians as “swine” and “livestock,” and said they would never live in peace with them again. The commemorations seemed only to stoke those feelings.
“If at some point I see a young Georgian man, and I know that he served in the army, I will kill him,” said Seldik Tedeyev, a bus driver whose son and mother died trying to leave Tskhinvali last Aug. 8. “Years will pass, time will pass, but I will kill him anyway.”

Sometimes the situation just seems so entrenched, where is the solution here? Where does the hope in South Ossetia come from, so that new generations can live in peace and prosperity?

I realize the ideas in Growing Up Global may seem painfully naïve to the bus driver quoted above, but I have to hold up the hope that if the youngest among us are nurtured with a mindset based on humanity’s oneness and connectedness – and the profound implications that follow – a true solution lies deep inside there, somewhere.

Girl in Tskhinvali displays her rendering of “Children happy and sad”
A group of children in front of the Youth Palace in Tskhinvali.
This photo was taken before last year’s war and it is thought these children are almost certainly all refugees now.

Note: All photographs copyright Peter Nasmyth. All rights reserved. From: http://www.opendemocracy.n et/russia/article/from-south-ossetias-children-georgian-and-russian

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