Mutterings: Are we Fighting a War that never was?

Posted: June 1, 2013 in Scribble
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We are always fighting. Be it at home or in a war zone or at some place where we are present. Fighting with our parents, friends, colleagues, governments, strangers and ourselves seem like something unavoidable and necessary to sustain some kind of unwritten balance.

The fight started when we were rushing to make first contact with the egg to make ourselves count. From then on we fight to survive in our mother’s womb as we turn into an acceptable form that society agrees on what is to be known as normal. Some of us who do not cut that stage will be branded and segregated for the rest of our living days. And as for the rest of us, when we become that beautiful bouncing baby our fight to hang on to our identity is only the beginning. 

We fight at home with our parents and siblings for the attention, for the love and for every reason we could think of to make life what we want them to be. Some family feuds last a lifetime and continue for generations to come even after the ones involved in the original battle had been put into the ground. And what do we usually fight about? It could be anything. Anger, frustration, jealousy,  blame, accusations or anything that we think is against our belief. It could develop into physical abuse, which may seem very common in some cultures, or it may be a psychological warfare that leaves marks that are invisible to the eye. Time and again families with whirlwind relationships can end up with court battles, estranged kinships, denial and abandonment or to some extreme cases, murder. And that is only one small portion of the combat zone.

Schools, however, are one of the first few frontlines for children to meet their own peers outside their families. This is where they find solidarity with like-minded friends or enmity with their all-time nemeses. And while most students will find incorporations with their teachers some will look upon them as antagonists. This war, fought throughout history, is not something dreamed up by storytellers but in fact is truer than history itself. Teacher-student disagreement will surely arise as long as two parties are dogged with opposing ideas.

We carry this act of aggression into adulthood and although the environment may be different the crusade stays remarkably the same. We fight for the right to be who we are, we fight to get that promotion that we deserve, we fight to be in front of a queue, we fight to get a piece of the action and sometimes we fight for others who can’t fight for themselves. If we were to start a family of our own we introduce the conflicts and confrontations to the family. While spouses can find anything to fight about, so will the children. And so goes the cycle that repeats itself like an unending ritual.

Eventually we grow old and exhausted from all the fights and battles that we had so much faith in. We look at ourselves with pride or disdain that we have had done much or perhaps very little. The catch 22 of it all seems like we need to fight to find peace but we can’t be peaceful if we keep on fighting. We reminisce and wish for things that are gone and wish for things to be different. All the regrets and anger, hopelessness and repressed denials will once again surface and make every living day a reminder of what we fought so badly for. If we are lucky enough we replay the good times over the bad because they are long lasting joys that doesn’t expire. But if we have demons that are attached to the past we watch the ugliness reveal itself as we sit and die away with remorse that will ultimately follow us to the grave.

In the end, at our deathbeds we fight to the very last breath to say what we want to say or stay alive for as long as we can. Just for that one fleeting moment do we even think about letting go? To embrace the peace that has been within us all along, all this time?

But does it ever make you wonder what all this fight is for in the end? Is it some kind of distraction that had been created by someone so that we won’t wake up to the truth? Did we miss something along the way? Are we such angry people that fighting is the only way we know how to stay alive? Are we genetically coded with only three options? Fight, flight or freeze?

Our bodies fight attacks from invading viruses. We are known to have a fighting spirit when the competition gets tough. We love watching fights between beauty queens vying for the crown, animals fighting to mate or to stay alive, fights between two people or teams to gauge who is greater and we also just love fights that bring justice in the end. Even when alone, we tend to fight with ourselves in our thoughts and emotions. We were taught to fight to win, to stay alive, to be at the top and to get ourselves the spotlight that we deserve.

But what if we stop fighting? What would happen to us? Would we waste away and die like someone who has given up? Or would we wake up to some abstract truth about our existence that only voluntary surrender would reveal?

Whatever the scenario are we fighting a war that never was?

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