Why do we need wars?
Words taken from daily headlines certainly paint a sensual, harsh reality of war: “hostage slain,” “deadliest month,” “terror in the streets,” “stress disorders,” “war toll a horrific cost,” “airstrikes and bombs,” “deadly clashes,” “bloodshed,” and “prisons.” And a recorded history of 15,000 global wars, in 5000 plus years, and counting, seems to imply that the pain and suffering of war continues and will continue. As a fan of the NBC television show “Dancing With The Stars,” it has been quite moving to watch double amputee-left arm and left leg-Noah Galloway and his professional dancing partner Sharna Burgess perform. Noah is a storied Iraq combat hero and shining physical and mental example of the freedom, with proper support, that can rest beyond acceptance of the trauma of war. The question lingers: Why do we need such pain, trauma and scars to connect with life as it is intended to be?
When New York Times best-selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh reviewed Sitting in the Flames, she wrote, “In clear, heartfelt prose, DeVore describes a brave and unflinching confrontation with his past, made necessary in order for him to have a more meaningful future. War, he realized, isn’t just one man’s experience-it’s the sum total experience of an entire country. To stop wars, he argues, we must understand them and why we need them.”
As Noah Galloway can attest, transformation of combat trauma demands that one begin to become aware, understand and accept personal suffering. My Vietnam War experiences were buried for 32 years. Until support arrived to facilitate becoming aware of stuffed fear, sitting with it, reflecting on it and accepting it, the artist within was deluded and not free to create life where peace of mind, purpose and connection with each moment reside.
My intuition is offering that personal pain and suffering, our Vietnam wars, can be transformed to positive energy that can be used to model the way as a person, in relationships and when helping others. The only requirement is to sit in silence and solitude, listen to our “inner roommate” and be open to the messages we receive. If we each take this one step at a time-sit in the flames of personal Vietnam wars-the sum total experience of an entire country can begin to be healed, too. As persons, if we continue to recycle personal wars, cultures will continue to have collective trauma and wars will continue to be reality and add to the growing number of conflicts as the years pass.