Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A time for war

" For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven...A time for war and a time for peace." - King Solomon
Photography by Joseph Osei-Bonsu
 "No, you can't say that! That pig did deserve to die for his crime!", argued Maribel. Oliver sharply responded, "So what are you saying? That because this old man defiled an 8-year old girl, he has lost his right to a fair trial?". "I'm simply saying that he deserved the fate he got.", replied a nonchalant Maribel. "And by 'the fate he got', you mean murder?", Oliver questioned sternly.
"Look, murder or whatever, you can call it what you want. His death was punitive justice. I laud the girl's brother for taking the initiative.", said Maribel with a grin. Oliver looked at her, shook his head and asked, "Are you really that a hater of peace?". Maribel turned towards Oliver sharply and replied, "Are you really that afraid of war?". The whole history lecture hall became silent as the heated argument between Oliver and Maribel, came to an inconclusive impasse. Slowly, Seigmar raised his hand. The professor turned to Seigmar, "Yes, Seigmar?". "Mrs. Ayitey, what do you think the victim's brother should have done? Should he have settled the matter peacefully or was he right to have killed his uncle for raping his sister?". At this, Mrs. Ayitey turned to look at both Oliver and Maribel. Looking past them, she noticed the time from the wall clock at the back of the lecture room. "Oh dear, look at the time! I'm late for my next class." She turned towards the whole class and said, "Well class, this has been very a interesting discussion, however, I have to leave right now. Consider Seigmar's question to be today's homework!". All the students groaned and complained in grave disappointment as Mrs. Ayitey exited the classroom.

    The key to success in life is found in: the ability to recognize the times or seasons, and in the knowledge of how to correctly respond to the chances that the set time or season may present to you. There will always be a season of peace, and a time for war, at least once in every human's lifetime. The former we embrace gladly. And so we should! Who wouldn't want peace in life? However, when it comes to war, we're either thirsting for bloodletting or shirking our responsibility to fight back. Either way, we respond wrongly to the sights of the hoisted banners and the beating of the drums of war. It is easier for one to recognize the winters and the summers of life, than to accurately perceive when peace or war is required. It is imperative for all to know, that how each person interprets and responds to the time of war, and the time of peace, will determine whether that person will live or not. Of course, you're entitled to think that I'm being a bit dramatic but believe you me, not all death is physical. As a matter of fact, there's something more fatal than dying, it's called vanity. Vanity is just a shorter way of explaining the lack of significance of something; in this case, the lack of significance of one's living. This, my dear reader, is the worst fate and the greatest anti-climax the human life could ever suffer. Hence, the preservation or destruction of either your physical life or the significance of your living, depends on how you manage the time of peace, and the time of war. The main problem is that, we don't know when its time to pick up a sword or when its time to put it down.

    The time of peace, contrary to popular belief, is not the time when everything is going smoothly enough for you to start building castles in the air. Peace, like all times and their corresponding changes, is a crisis. The crisis comes from the need to restrain one's self from fighting, for the benefit of a more important but time-sensitive purpose. In the time of peace, men may: slap you, spit on you, curse you, fight you, threaten you, and even try to kill you, in the location where you find yourself. In this time, it is your responsibility to objectively weigh the purpose for being in that location, with the opposition that you're facing; to see if the purpose is truly worth all the trouble you're going through. And mind you, your purpose or goal is truly worthy if it has been set to benefit another life or other lives, and not for your own, private ambition. In the time of peace, you'll recognize that the purpose is truly worth all the troubles you're having because of it. It's also important to remember that your purpose is time-sensitive: you won't suffer forever. And thus, the correct response after accurately discerning the time of peace, is to ENDURE or continually AVOID the abuse and mistreatment that you're going through for the sake of your vision, purpose, plan or goals. Beware of confusing your own, foolish passivity for being peaceful in the time of peace. Being passive has very little to do with being peaceful. As a matter of fact, it takes more work, time and effort to fight for peace than to fight a war. Which leads us to my next point: the time of war.

    The time of war, contrary to popular belief, is not the time when everything is going south enough for you to mindlessly tear down the walls of your 'enemies'. War, like all times and their corresponding changes, is a crisis. The crisis comes from the need to execute justice, by fighting, for the benefit of the weak or the oppressed, and not for self-enrichment. A time for war requires intensive: planning, strategizing, training, collection of intelligence, management of resources, and even the willingness to die in the location where the war is to be fought. At such a time as this, it is your responsibility to objectively consider who or what the law is favouring - you or your enemy; to see if the war you're about to fight or are fighting, is truly worth all the troubles that you're facing or about to face. Again, the purpose of warfare is to restore law and order to the people/person who are/is being oppressed by the abuse or the neglect of the law. This is called justice. War should never be for private ambition or for any other ulterior motive other than rescuing the perishing, helping the helpless, strengthening the weak and delivering the oppressed from their Oppressor. It's also important to remember that your warfare is time-sensitive: you don't have all the time in the world to help a dying man. And thus, the correct response after accurately discerning the time of war, is to DEFEAT the perpetrator, or, to continually DEFEND the victim of illegal abuse and mistreatment. This makes war a very touchy subject for people because almost all the wars that have been fought throughout history, were fought because the people involved in them thought they were doing what was right. They justified their vengeful and selfish motives by perverting and misinterpreting the law. As a matter of fact, most wars are fought because: "'God' wills it!", or in defence of the honour of the 'law'. Be ye not deceived my dear reader, war is not about rewarding the soldiers or the people with spoils. War is about restoring freedom back to the chained civilians or the oppressed people, so that they can live the right way - by law.

This is how you discern when to hold your peace or when to shout for war

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