Why do Veterans Miss War?

a TED Talk by journalist Sebastian Junger.

Is the fear of alienation in some cases worse than fear of death?
So we know that humans are social animals, and it is very important for us to form bonds. Yet why do we keep creating a society where we grow more and more alienated and distrustful to our neighbors?

When put in extreme scenarios, people can demonstrate the abysmal pits of human nature, but also a great degree of humanity that is able to sacrifice their lives for the sake of someone else. The contrast is astounding, yet can always be observed. Many people in society think it is in their self-interest to take more resources than everyone around them, that it would benefit them if their neighbors fall and they rise. As journalist Sebastian Junger observed, that is so not true. In the end, we all just need someone that we can count on no matter what. I guess

Quote 3

They say that opposites attract… The trouble is, between attraction and understanding there can be a very great distance. Too great for any one individual, no matter how strong and powerful, to cross on her or his own. It is a distance which must be crossed by both, together. How long this takes is not important. What matters is that the journey commence in the first place, that the parties involved move steadily toward one another until, at long last, each is safe in the other’s outstretched arms.

by Cameron Dokey in ‘Sunlight and Shadow’

I think this is a fairly good description of what love is. It is not about feeling or attraction. Love is a verb. It’s action. Loving is about putting effort, making sacrifices, understanding, and continuously caring. 

Quote 2

A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really… “Do the stars gaze back?” Now *that’s* a question.

from Stardust (2007)

Great opening statement. Do humans see beauty in  their surroundings because they are capable of rational thought and irrational emotions, because it is an unchangeable fact that they made humans first before they became humane? or is it just anatomy,  because evolution has permitted humans the ability to enjoy and contemplate on their being?

Vision for 6-Step Community-Based Change in the Philippines

1 – Realization and Acceptance of the Situation: The Philippines is not a rich country and the government lacks funds to raise all Filipinos out of poverty. The first step to development is to acknowledge that the Philippine government, just like any other government, cannot and will not deliver everything that is demanded of it by the people because people have unlimited wants, and we have scarce resources.

 

2 – Stop the blame game. Nobody wants to be told that they need to be responsible for their choices and decisions. Most people would rather be spoiled and deceived by demagogues who tell them they deserve to be served and must be given all their needs. When the government cannot follow through, this causes disappointment and mistrust in among the population. But if the answer to a bad politician is to replace him/her with another that can promise better, the results will be an even deeper resentment.

 

3 – Institutional change must and can only begin among the people, with the lowest members participating by building a concrete community of peaceful relationships with their neighbors. This is the most important and key part of the 6-step development plan. People must learn to build a real society vested on trust and forgiveness.

 

4 – Emphasis on equity, not rapid development. Monetary wealth is not everything to development. Invest on people. Shortcuts do not work as demonstrated by many presidents in Philippine history whose only goal is to achieve a good GDP growth rate during their term so they have something to show. Sometimes, the hard and slow way is the only way.

 

5 – Gradual replacement of ALL current ruling elites, not by riots or even peaceful protests, but by due process of law and/or elections. This step requires a public that does not vote based on popularity and traditional ties. The government needs new faces who can overturn past mistakes and bring new life into it. New politicians may be engulfed in the corruption cycle by the old politicians, but if the base of the public is strong, eventually by replacing the cancers they can clean the government. By peaceful and constitutional means, people can also start a tradition of following the rule of law which future generations will adopt and become informal norms.

 

6 – Change the constitution into a more locally fitting one. Democracy does not have to be the way the US does it. Different nations have different people, collective experiences, and culture. These are their real treasure, so a government customized to fit and reflect their people, not of another race’s, should be a priority for every nation.