War has been the folly of man for as far back as human reckoning; competition for resources, land and breeding rights is nothing unique to the human condition either. This may lead some to think that war is inevitable, that violence against our fellow man is just as normal as breathing, drinking or eating. Killing over petty squabbles regarding who owns what patch of dirt should be something long gone, a distant memory of ancestors who got it wrong. Acts of aggression are never the ideal response to anything, and can only lead to disaster. When someone dies, their family members mourn their passing, and can only see the red haze of vengeance whenever they see the perpetrator. This leads to an endless cycle of violence begetting violence, a concept eloquently put by Mahatma Gandhi, to paraphrase, as “an eye for an eye will make the whole work blind.”
This concept is proven in places like the Gaza Strip, where peace seems to some impossible. However, if both sides stopped attacking the other, and agreed to only respond to violence in self-defense, the death toll would quickly evaporate. Both sides are too proud for this though, resolved to fight to the bitter end, until the last man left standing can look out at all the destruction wrought by such arrogance. Misplaced arrogance and self-righteous narcissism all too often prods nations headlong into conflict, usually without first assessing if war is the best available option. Usually, almost always it is not; rather it is the easiest choice those in power can make, especially when others are compelled to fight the wars they initiate.
Every nation and culture abhors the act of murder, when done on a personal level, for personal reasons. There should be no notion that it is suddenly okay if done on a large scale, as part of a group. Killing another is murder, regardless of the context, and should not be dismissed or lauded due to said context. It should be logical that all murder is wrong, and people across the world should embrace different methods of dealing with disputes with others. There will always be outliers, those that don’t fit into society and wish to live outside the law. We should not sink to the level of such degenerates, and always seek a peaceful resolution to conflicts whenever possible. Percy Bysshe Shelley said it best when it comes to warfare, “Man has no right to kill his brother.It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”