The root of discord and violence between people and nations comes from our tendency to forget our humanity. We “forget” our true nature.
In my opinion, violence is a “learned” behavior. We “learn” it from our environment. When we are born, we do not possess the tendency to violence. As we grow, we become driven by “reactions”. Our reactions are influenced by what we witness in our environment. We “copy” what we see. Therefore, violence and hatred are not natural to our essence.
As we grow older, we “buy” into the deception. We come to believe that violence is “OK” when “justified”. It is “OK” to kill for our beliefs or to defend our “territory.” We have learned to “possess.” We “live to possess”. We like to possess things, people, land, animals, anything tangible and intangible. The more we own, the more powerful over others we feel. Our society or community reinforces this “tendency”. Our worth is largely “measured” by the amount of our possessions. We feel validated. Thus, around the world we find ourselves fighting, killing each other “defending” what we “have”: our nationalism, religion, territory, and ideologies. We become slaves of our deception and desires. In the process, we lose ourselves, our humanity. We sacrifice our soul for lies! (How much better off we would be if we were to place as much zest pursuing wisdom, our self-growth, or spiritual evolution as we place chasing our illusions and enhancing our bodies!)
Thus, driven by our illusions, we forget that those we attack blindly (other human beings of all ages) in the name of “a cause, belief or ideology” are as real as we are. They bleed, they grieve, and they have potential and dreams just like us. In sum, in many ways, they are extensions of our “selves” with their own uniqueness and role to play in this world. We deceive ourselves into thinking of them as our “enemy”, faceless, without history and soul, different from us. We label them, “Jews”, “Palestinians”, “Blacks”, “Whites”, “Muslims”, “Christians”, “Infidels” and so on.
Some of the stupidity of it all is that we condemn one another mostly for traits beyond the individual’s control. We choose to ignore that we are born into a specific religion, ethnicity, country, race, gender, social or economic status! I am white only because I was born into the white race. Or, I am black because I was born into the black race. The same goes for my gender, national origin, and even religion! (Although, the latter has become an “optional” trait. It is another “power-driven” concept). However, before we are any of the above, we are human beings. Take away all of the above. What do you have? Human beings! That is what each and every one of us is first and foremost. That is the truth! Everything else is an illusion, a lie! What would happen if we were to eliminate the labels and see each other for what we really are: people?