Yesterday a bridge collapsed and people died. New Orleans hasn't been rebuilt. People died and are still dying. Every day money that could be spent on the infrastructure of our country is being spent to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq. Every day that our tax dollars go to kill people in Iraq is a day that our tax dollars are not being spent to save a life here, to give a child medical care, to give a hardworking person a decent salary, to prevent another road or another bridge from collapsing and killing more people.
This is the true cost of war. This is what happens when only the munitions makers, the warmongers, the corrupt politicians profit from the obscenity that is war. They kill more than an invented enemy. They kill us. They kill our country. They destroy instead of build. They let cures for diseases go up in the smoke of dollars wasted to kill people. They let the homeless die on the streets as they make those in other countries homeless with bombs bought with our tax dollars.
I think of golden ages, times when people prospered, when great works of art and literature were created, when great minds put forth new ideas that were exciting and made everyone feel as if life was a forward motion instead of a retreat. These were times without war. These were times when cities and communities prospered. These were times when history created itself as a positive force instead of a shameful embarrassment our grandchildren will curse as they spit on our graves and call us selfish, shortsighted, indifferent, and a waste of so much potential.
Why did we spend generations educating society, creating great minds, growing a world we could all believe in equally if the reward was a legacy of greed that will end up destroying us? Where did we go so wrong?
Maybe the answer is somewhere between the time when we quit making people accountable for their actions. Maybe it was during the time when anything could be excused, manipulated and twisted into a tool to make the formerly free become the obedient many. Maybe we trusted that aberration called "television" too much. Maybe we should have turned it off and left it that way until we call came to our senses.
But as the saying goes, it is too late to put that genie back in the bottle, but it is not too late to wake up and see that she is stealing our souls. Those with no souls are the ones with no conscience, no reflection, no awareness. They are the empty shells that can be turned into a bot army of willing sheep who question nothing, who believe they have no power, who continue to allow corrupt and greedy politicians get rich on war.
If you start today, if you tell yourself that you will do one small act for peace, one small act to educate another, one small act to make politicians accountable, then you create hope in us all. The only reason we have war instead of a new golden age is because we allowed it to happen. We shut our eyes, put our hands over our ears, screamed lalalalalala and hoped it would all go away. It didn't. It's still here. And so are we. It's time to wake up and it's way past time to do something useful during your awakening. The power is in you. Why keep it there like prisoner of fear? Drag it out. Make it dance. Make it sing. And make it strong again. Only then will we begin to give birth to another golden age and a time without war. If not you, then who?
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