As children, many of us played “war games.” If we had brothers, we knelt in the sandbox with our plastic “army guys,” and fought little wars that felt like huge battles at the time. For me, I would listen to my brother make gun noises as he pointed his plastic army guys at mine. Part of me would think the game was silly, me being a girl, and I really would have preferred to be playing “house” with my dolls….but, my little brother needed an opposing force to make up the battlefield…so there I was, his sister, playing along. There was great passion in these games….and many a plastic army guy got knocked over into the sand. It was fun….. it wasn’t real….it was a game.
In war, one needs an enemy. My brother and I set up the terms of our warfare right from the beginning….who were the “bad guys,” who were the “good guys,” and, essentially, somewhere in our hearts, we knew who would win….always the “good guys,” of course…..how we determined who were the “good guys,” I don’t recall…it was just a general agreement, before doing battle.
Each of us knows that we all have elements of being “good guys,” and “bad guys,” within. Just like children, we determine which side we are on everyday of our lives. Where we get our measuring stick of what is good and bad comes from our backgrounds….our historys. The truth is, because we are human beings, we have a limited overall view of this earth….and it is very difficult for us to sometimes see the overall consequences of our actions. If we did have a “birds-eye” view of the world, I’m sure this would be a very different place. We would be able to see that every action creates a reaction….that none of us is perfect…..that the greatest war of all is the one within ourselves. The entire human race does have a common enemy….and it is the hatred, the prejudice, and the ego within each and every one of us, that we must do battle with in order to learn to love. This is our common enemy….this is our common battlefield. I believe it is possible for Christian, Jew, Muslim and all peoples to live together side by side, but only after we recognize that if we don’t, all of us are doomed. The common enemy is ourselves…..
I believe the day of the World Trade Center attack, God was crying. I believe God cries every time mankind kills one another….every time He sees His children hurting one another. What do we truly accomplish with hatred? More hatred. And the one who hates usually ends up becoming just like the very object of his or her hatred. That is the logical course of events, unless Love intervenes.
Our common enemy is the hatred within ourselves….our common salvation is the Love each of us carries in our hearts. Until we learn this lesson, we will all hurt.
Fight the battle within……
love, Jennifer Avalon
Â© 2001 Jennifer Avalon