How To Win A War

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So someone did something to you that angered you so much that you must fight back.  So bent on revenge, whoever gets hurt along the way doesn’t seem so relevant for as long as your main target understands messing with you was the biggest mistake they could ever possibly make.  In your mind, you can make it up to those whom you’ve accidentally hurt in your quest to getting even.

From someone who used to do that sort of thing I can share my experience that such quests are futile at best.  In the end, the only person you’re really hurting is yourself.  If you did indeed got even with your intended target, good for you, but whenever I did that, successful or not, the end result always wound up proving to be not nearly as redeeming as the initial intent behind it.  The satisfaction lasted for a very short time, which paled compared to additional relationships I damaged along the way, plus a further tarnish against my own personal reputation by those who witnessed my actions as they’d see an ugly side to me they never knew existed.

Although I am very much in favor of fighting for what you believe in, I also feel there are certain battles worth engaging and many more that aren’t.  If you’re going to fight a battle please be sure it’s for the greater good of not just yourself, but all those around you regardless if they’re near or far.  If it’s a battle against a disease that’s threatening your life then that is one worth fighting as well.  However, if it’s a battle of wills against another person, or a battle to prove yourself before others, those ones are usually a waste of your time and energy.  In the end nobody wins, not even you.

We live in a world today where everybody is fighting and sadly, most of it is for all the wrong reasons and being done so in all the wrong ways.  It’s spiritually exhausting and it further diminishes the character of the person who has chosen to take on such a fight without considering the consequences involved.  When most people fight they do so out of emotion.  That is a mistake.  Emotions cloud judgement and therefore have you aiming wildly at both those who deserve your rage and those who don’t.  And speaking from personal experience as someone hot-tempered, whenever I unleashed my version of hell upon those who deserved it most of them laughed at me.  Why?  Because they knew they succeeded in getting under my skin!  And – at the same time, if there are innocent caught in the crossfire, guess whose side they’re going to take from that moment forward?  It won’t be yours and from that point on it never will be, no matter how hard you try to justify yourself before them.  And, word gets out.  Along the way the truth behind the situation will get twisted and the most deceptive will find a way to paint you as the ultimate bad guy, even if the truth knows that you’re not.

The best example I can think of where people who fight are very much in the wrong for doing so are parents separating or divorcing from each other and their children are forced to bear witness to the nightmare of just how ridiculous the two people that are supposed to be closest to them are.  In every case, the child(ren) is never the same and will fall into some form of depression that most of the time has long-term consequences that may never be fully recovered from.  Of divorcees who’ve got children that seemed far less scarred by their parents splitting up, these were adults who chose to remain that way.  Instead of allowing personal feelings get in the way of their better judgement they did what squabbling divorcee parents never do; put the child – and only the child – first.  Instead of one parent going out of their way to block the other from ever having access to any child again they left the door open to let their own child decide.  It didn’t matter if that parent agreed with it or not and had enough intelligence and heart to not involve outsiders like lawyers and shrinks as they knew that would further damage the child to a degree where it may become impossible to repair.

People who are brain enough to cool off first before performing an action that could prove to be a disaster for all are, in my opinion, the best fighters of all.  Instead of raw emotion getting in the way, they take a moment to figure out whether or not the war thrown in their face is even worth fighting.  If they realize it is then they’ll map out a strategy that proves their point across in a manner that’s constructive for all instead of destructive.

In truth, it’s easier to anger, hate, divide and destroy than it is to love, forgive, unite and restore.  We live in a world where the most powerful know only hate and division.  It shows in their actions.  It has for centuries, all the way as far back as the dawn of time itself.  In the biblical texts, Cain became angry, hateful and impatient.  Instead of taking a moment to cool off and let the dust settle he killed his brother, Abel.  Did this action give him the full satisfaction he sought?  No it did not.  In fact it was the contrary and it was a stain against his soul that he’d have to carry right to his own final breath.

Now, going with the example of Jesus Christ, no matter what was thrown at him he opted to love, forgive, unite and restore all that he could while he was still alive as flesh.  Even in his final moments, instead of lashing out against those who were bent to destroy him he kept his cool and forgave them because deep down he knew none of them was performing their actions with perfect clarity.  All of it, whether it was cold and calculative, or sparked by pure rage, were brought forth by people who wasted their time and effort on whom they thought was their enemy.  In the end, after Christ died on the cross they crucified him on, that satisfaction they were seeking to ride their little world of what bothered them most was short-lived and promptly followed by one hardship after another until there was virtually nothing left.  The mighty Roman Empire, shortly after the death of Christ, finally fell after too much “karma payback” crippled everyone in it until there was no fight left in any of them to continue.  They exhausted themselves by wasting everything they’ve got into fights they never should have picked to begin with.

Sadly, people have not learned this lesson even to this day.  Even our world leaders pick fights with enemies they think exist but in truth they don’t.  In all honesty, speaking from experience, the only real enemy we all face is the demons that sit within ourselves.  In the divine miracle of life creation, each of us were blessed (and cursed) with a gift called free will.  That free will allows us to decide what paths we’d like to follow for ourselves.  It also grants us the ability to pick and choose whatever fights we wish to engage in and which ones to avoid.

We live in a society where it’s deemed cowardly to walk away from a fight.  What too many people fail to realize is sometimes it takes strength to walk away from a fight than it is to blindly engage without taking the time to decide who is the enemy deserving of your wrath.

And there it is.  One of the seven deadly sins we were warned about.  Wrath.  Wrath is the raw emotion within that’s our most destructive one.  When given into, it compels us to perform actions that is typically out of character for any human being who wishes to live a righteous path.  Instead of embracing the peaceful world each of us deep down wants, we run straight into the chaotic one so that we can unleash our own version of hell upon whoever it is that you think caused you to feel that way.  The second you go there, you’ve now become self-righteous as you falsely believe you are in the right and whoever wronged you deserves whatever punishment you wish to give.

As adult as many of us like to think we are, we’re not.  We are a childish race with childish behaviors, wants and actions.  We can’t stand being in the wrong and we can’t stand losing.  Look at the wars.  People can’t stop themselves from fighting against each other no matter what the reason is.  Nation goes against nation after all the people are rallied in such a manner where they don’t realize how messed up they are until it’s far too late.

Make no mistake, all of the wars fought since the dawn of time have been ones that could have otherwise been avoided if cooler heads were in control instead of madmen who allowed raw emotion and greed get in the way of what should have been better judgement.  And what has each of these wars accomplished?  In truth, absolutely nothing good – no matter what the history books have to say about it.  All it caused was massive death, destruction and heartbreak.  Was it worth it?  In all honesty, no it wasn’t.  Each war was fueled by hatred and division, caused by the most spiteful and greedy among mankind who’ve chosen that path because they wanted to.  And even in their case, all their judgement calls was not made with perfect clarity.  All of it was clouded at best and in each occasion there was more lost than won in the end.

In truth, no war ever comes to an end.  Not entirely.  I follow history very closely and I see patterns very vividly.  Each new war that erupts after old ones have been fought to exhaustion has a link to it’s predecessor in some manner.  I saw it as far back as Exodus and I still see it today and I know what lies ahead for tomorrow.  We have too much insanity fueling these wars by those who just won’t bring themselves to calm down and think before acting.  And I’m not just talking about world wars here, I’m also talking about the personal wars people like you and myself constantly find ourselves in.

Truth be told, people love to fight no matter how much they try to deny it.  Why do you think sports and games are so popular?  We love to win and hate to lose.  Even the most sportsman among us just love that gaming experience where the aim is to better your opponent with whatever you’ve got as your arsenal.  Not saying sports and games are bad things, but even in those areas you can see fights picked that really should be avoided so the more honorable focus of a good game played remains intact and keeps people’s spirits healthy.  Each of us are competitive by nature, but how we choose to participate in such competitions really demonstrates what kind of people each of us are deep down.

For me, a good game, or rather a good fight for that matter, is doing the best you can as a player as this dictates who you are as a person.  If you’re a true team player that cares for more than just yourself then it’ll show in your actions.  You the best you can to work with them and encourage them to play as honorable a game as possible without resorting to doing anything that can tarnish the game (or sport) in any given manner.  If the opposite team opts for actions that are more abusive and are pushing for a war, how you and your team react to it will depend whether or not the other side gets what they want.  Although nobody should ever have to put up with abuse of any kind, how you and your team respond to it will dictate how that game will finish.

I used to be an avid hockey fan, but I’ve noticed in all sports the bullying team who fails to antagonize their opponents to fight back violently always winds up losing in the end.  They may win that one particular game, but in future games they lose more than win and each time the team who refuses to give into allowing emotion to mess with their game play do far better overall and literally makes that abusive team trying to goat them look like fools. For nearly every occasion, I see that team who refuses to cave into fighting wars not worth their aggressive effort win championships whereas the bullies and those who give in and fight back with fists instead of brain all get left behind to reflect on areas where they’ve gone wrong.

I see it in people too.  Those who bully and cave into bullying where they allow envy, wrath and greed get in the way of who they really are they wind up facing failure that knocks them off their feet, putting them right back to ground zero.  Of those who exercise better judgement by moving forward with a clear head instead of allowing the ugliness creep in and take over, each of them wind up winning in the end.  No matter how bad you beat them up, tarnish their reputation or take whatever you can from them, they win where it truly counts.

In Genesis Abel lost his life, but in the end gained the reputation of righteousness where the most faithful to God and the bible regard him as a hero because he didn’t allow his spirit to be tarnished like Cain did.  In Jesus Christ when he died on the cross he remained true to himself and his faith without allowing raw emotion turn him into something he knew he wasn’t.  Because of that he is regarded as the most heroic figure in every corner of the world that believes in God and everything written in the Holy Bible.  Even among those who have no regard for religion or Christianity alone cannot deny the fact that regardless how they feel about him, Jesus Christ is the ultimate definition of how a true hero should be.

When you look at Abel and Jesus Christ as examples, the one thing these two had in common was instead of engaging in fights that they deemed to be futile, they focused their energies that proved to have more positive results.  Instead of hating they chose to love.  That made them stronger because it’s easier to hate than it is to love.  Hate requires zero effort to do anything about it to keep it fueled.  Love requires every ounce of effort you’ve got.  Hate doesn’t know patience, where love requires it.  Hate doesn’t make the effort to understand a situation.  Love takes the time to understand.  Hate makes it easy to throw a punch, fire a weapon or commit any act against whatever hate can’t understand.  Love finds a way to absorb whatever form of violence is hurled their way and instead of fighting with what hate hopes will get thrown back at them (because it’s all they know) they’ll use a more calming means in hope that it can chip away at that hatred and make it less powerful.  If that calming means includes flat out walking away from the fight then so be it.  It’s not cowardly.  It’s smart, because no matter how powerful hate makes you feel – unless you have a target willing to stick around to let you keep caving into that hatred to make it stronger all your efforts are wasted and you will exhaust yourself in the end.

What’s awesome with people who choose to allow love and understanding to fuel themselves, they literally have a great chance to block out soul damaging poisons that will ultimately give them the very tools they need to win whatever war it is that’s slapping them in the face, no matter how powerful their hateful enemy is.

If you’ve ever seen the commercialized story of the Sun vs the Wind then you’ll remember how it’s message was persuasion is far more powerful than force.  Hate uses force and exhausts itself in the end, just like the wind.  Love uses persuasion, which isn’t exhausting at all.  If anything, it’s empowering.  And in the end, that’s how wars are won.  Love your enemy enough to understand him/her/them and work with it where patience and truth are your primary weapons and there is no way you can possibly lose.

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