Over the past couple of weeks on one of my other blogs we've had some passionate political discussions. A Lt. in the US Army is a Bush supporter who comments regularly to counter my arguments. "Howard" another commenter usually defends my viewpoint. We challenge each other. We communicate. That's the answer to the worlds problems: COMMUNICATION.
I was asked the other day why I blog? "What do you hope to accomplish?" was the direct question.
I've thought about it and decided to devote a few words to attempting to answer that question.
Let me start by saying I appreciate every single person who reads my blog and especially those who comment, positive or negative.. That's what this is all about: COMMUNICATION.
Our "Free Press" has performed well in keeping this republic alive for over two centuries. The system of checks and balances put in place by our founding fathers was, although not perfect, an incredibly effective form of government. We've had our ups and downs over the time this country has been in existence. But without those checks and balances there is chaos as we see now all over the world.
The muslim world has been in a fight to the death for centuries. The first Crusades were responsible for atrocities against them that most of us can't imagine today.
Hatred and murder breeds more hatred and murder.
Every 1,000 muslim deaths at the hands of the "Crusaders" guarantees another 3, 4, or 5 thousand future enemies. It will never end until people realize that the "enemy" are people too.
Dehumanizing people has worked since the beginning of mankind as a method of rationalizing the death of a group, sect, religious organization, village, country, etc., etc. It worked for Hitler with the jews. It worked in Rwanda based on the width of noses! "They're not our kind." What idiocy! We're all human beings!
See what I mean? Violence and hate feeds on violence and hate.
Am I going to change the "facts of life" by blogging? No. But as the internet spreads and the world gets smaller, the inevitable result will be to open people's eyes to the fact that there are more similarities than differences. We are all individuals but we must see other individuals as an equal part of humanity.
Al Queda is filled with "evil" people! That's what our leadership tells us. That's what the right wing media tells us. That's what most people in this country think.
But in the Muslim world Al Queda are heroic warriors against "evil" people... Us. If the truth is told there is evil on both sides. Communication is the answer and that will never happen as long as one calls the other "evil."
Bloggers communicate. Bloggers tell their story. Each one is different but the same. It's all "point of view," isn't it?
Bin Laden would be considered a "monster" on the Bush blog. Bush would be considered a "monster" on the Bin Laden blog. But if those blogs existed maybe the comments from both sides would start communication which could cool some of the rhetoric and eventually change the world.
Silly concept? Maybe. But nobody will convince me that blowing each other up solves ANYTHING. It only perpetuates the conflict for generation after generation.
I hope I'm not being to vague or obtuse about the importance of blogging. In a way it's like trying to defend the United Nations, another great concept which struggles in effective execution because it is filtered through each member's perception.
One little blog like mine won't change the world. That's true. But if enough voices are heard, if enough points of view are shared, if bloggers continue to "communicate" maybe the world WILL be changed.
I'm a poet and a dreamer. So was John Lennon. So is Bob Dylan. Maybe we need more poets and dreamers.