I don't like war - and I don't want to glorify it. I think it's outright wrong. And that’s regardless of whether it’s a war on the outside or us battling a part of ourselves internally. But there are people we love who decide(d) to participate in whatever capacity, and I want to honor them for walking their chosen path.
Now, I am from Germany, and have the other end of that particular (WWII) stick in my history...
A boy of 15. Imagine that! Nowadays kids aren't even allowed to drive cars at that age, or buy alcohol. The age of consent for sexual activity is between 16 and 18 in the US, 16 in Canada, and between 13 and 18 in Europe (Germany 14, if the partner is under 21, otherwise 16). All fairly harmless activities, and certainly not involving any outright weapons that are meant to hurt/kill others…
And my grandpa decided to go to war at 15, with parental permission. It's a scarring experience for anyone at any age if they make it through. He did, physically unharmed on the outside... yet the psychological scars were still clearly visible late in his life. As they were in all four of my grandparents.
None of them ever made up for lost childhoods, for nights spent in underground shelters during the air raids, for seeing the bodies of their loved ones who didn't make it to the shelter charred and shriveled up in the streets, for weeks spent fleeing, for foraging the forests for edible roots, and for the terrors of hiding in secret compartments from enemy soldiers for fear of being raped.
They never made up for those teenage romances that never happened, or for the carefree summers they never had, or for the educational endeavors they couldn't embark on because of the war. They never got out of that mindset of immense fear. And lack. The starvation for nourishing food, and starvation for love. Survival was all that counted.
The psychological longterm effects are hard to get rid of (especially when you're dealing with a generation of people who just want to swipe everything bad that happened under the carpet): that tendency to hoard; to buy too much food, because who knows what's going to happen while the shops are closed on Sunday... Difficulty letting go.
All clearly noticeable in all four grandparents. The immense fear. That led to a myriad of other smaller and larger health problems, culminating in heart disease, dementia and cancer.
This year, the first year they're all gone, I am finally brave enough to tell this side of the story. Because that's valid, too. And my grandparents did the best they could, as did everyone else. I know they have found their peace now. May they finally rest in it.
I would love to see the world turn into one that is motivated by love! Motivated by a genuine desire to enrich each other. Rather than motivated by that old story of fear and how everyone is just out to get us. If we can turn that around inside ourselves - each one of us individually - the world WILL be a much more loving place. And there will be no need for lingering fears and lashing out at others.
Let's rid the world of all the gigantic mini-tyrants we shelter in our own minds... for lasting peace. It starts on the inside. <3
Love & Light,