I just watched the 1943 movie, “Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army.” It starred our former president, Ronald Reagan, as the son of a World War I veteran who following in his father’s footsteps, joined up and put on shows in World War II for and about the armed forces. It was kitschy and unsophisticated, but I cried anyway. Not for the subplot, but because of the sentiment and belief that this would be our final war.
The propaganda movies of the 1940s were designed to make all civilians feel the pride and dedication of defeating an inhumane enemy. They were well-written, well-acted and made us all, children and adults alike, feel patriotic, in love with a country that would eradicate evil and make the world safe for generations to come. Unfortunately, we humans never seem to learn.
From my vantage point as a Seasoned Citizen, I have the leisure to look at life being played out before my eyes and wonder at the animosity displayed by our supposedly civilized society.
In retrospect, life is so short. We are like grains of sand, blown away at the whim of nature, yet wasting our precious time by fighting amongst ourselves. We vie with each other to see who has the deadliest weapon of mass destruction when tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes can wipe us out in the blink of an eye.
When will we realize that planet Earth is but a pin-prick in the fabric of our vast unexplored universe; that no one will care if we blow ourselves to smithereens?
We’ve gone from an Agricultural Age to an Industrial Age to an Atomic Age, and now a Digital Age. Every human being has the same blood coursing through his/her veins; every human being is designed to have two eyes, two hands, two legs and one brain. Instead of trying to best one another, why not try to live together as kindred spirits? Hasn’t history taught us that winning is only momentary; that, in the long run, understanding and cooperation create true long-lasting winners; that the mind of man is bounded only by the universe…perhaps many universes, and the most important thing we have to do is live together as a community, as a group of communities, as a country, and as a world?!
We must stamp out animosity and strive for understanding, never forgetting that competition is a human trait and being competitive doesn’t exclude the possibility of being cooperative. If we each try to be the best we can, devoid of petty angers and bias, we might finally begin to appreciate and perhaps even comprehend the very meaning of life.
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