November 11th, 11 AM 1918. The war to end all wars comes to an end. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the war is formally concluded. The map of Europe is redrawn to make sure the Austrian and German Empires are sliced up never to let them come together and create such suffering and destruction again. Germany suffers worst of all. Germans across the empire find themselves citizens of countries they never knew, and those that fall under the new republic are told the past four years was their fault. They must disband most of their beloved military, leaving only a small police force behind and worse still they are left to pay back reparations with a non-existent economy. The country is in near anarchy. Communist and fascist militias roam the countryside fighting for dominance. Rapid inflation, much like we see in Venezuela, has families walking around with wheel barrels filled with cash for a loaf of bread. The German people were belittled, demeaned and humiliated. No one tried to help them. Fast forward twenty years and Europe was caught and another life or death struggle with Germany. After suffering for two decades of being blamed solely and directly for the costliest war in human history and being denied the most basic privilege of pride for one’s nation, Germany gave way to a racist totalitarian system that made the victims feel strong and whole again. Over the next six years, millions more would be murdered on a mass scale that made the first war pale in comparison. Genocide on the continent was narrowly avoided. Europe was plunged into decades of Soviet and western occupation once again dividing Europe of economic and philosophical lines.
In June 1979 the long Bush War, fought in Rhodesia by the white minority against the black majority communist insurgency finally came to an end after 14 years. Over time racial violence against white would ratchet up along with the state-sponsored land seizure of white majority held farming land. As obvious retaliation for years of abuse, suppression, slavery, rape, murder a, forced impoverishment and all-around general mistreatment, In the end, this would lead to widespread economic collapse and famine. Which the country still hasn’t recovered from and has improved the country in only limited social ways.
On 14 and 15 August, Pakistan and India became independent sovereign nations concurrently. Not long after violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims across India that led to mass migration to Pakistan and years of bitter turmoil that led to war on multiple occasions and a deep seeded mistrust to this day. The British had long tried to repress both people to keep India in the empire and to keep the two sides from an all-out war on the streets. The religious hatred was fueled by centuries of Muslim dominance over the subcontinent under the Mughal Empire. Both sides were bereaved and mistreated by the other.
That was a somewhat half-assed and condensed history of very contentious and challenging times in human history. Why did I take the time to detail those historic moments that most people under thirty-five will ever care to know or understand? Because these terrible instances in human history where one group of people targeted another group of people based on their mistreatment, degradation, and humiliation by others. More plainly they were naturally and understandably emotional about their place in the world and how they were treated by others. Whether it was actual mistreatment in the cases of Rhodesia(modern Zimbabwe) and India. Or picking a favorite scapegoat, the Jewish people, in the case of Germany. People gave way to their emotions over mistreatment. Logic, morals, laws, and reason are products of prosperous and peaceful times. If they are made in times of turmoil or out of fear, they are not based on law, and their legality is only backed up by force, not by reason and rational thought. If you take from the rich and give to the poor, then you’re just continuing the system in place with different players. If you beat someone because they were unkind to you, then you’ll reason you can do it to anyone who upsets you for any reason over a long enough period of time. All so you can feel better, but in the end, you’re just keeping the same thing that caused those feelings going.
Your feelings are important. You should always listen to them, but you should rarely act on them. Take a chance and kiss a pretty girl or a handsome guy. If they push you away or turn you down, don’t strike them or talk badly of them. Remember they have feelings to that should be respected and try again with someone else, somewhere else. The great Greek Philosopher once said, “Life is a subject open to interpretation. What matters most in life is not what happens to us but the interpretation we choose to take.” You should always care how you feel and find out why you feel that way and how you can remedy those bad feelings through open and honest communication with those around you. However, if you let your emotions do your thinking and dominate your life, the world will just the same way you found it when you leave if not for the worse. Take deep breaths. Think on my words and by all means tell me what you think. Your thoughts are important just like your emotions, but they never entitle you to make others live by them. Well, those are my thoughts exactly.
Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings
– Walt Disney