On war

Via Troed Troedson I found this interview with Hermann Göring:
Interview with Gustave Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946).

Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany.

That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

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Isn’t it scary how much truth there is to this quote, even today? It really makes me realize the importance of the leaders we chose to vote for/believe in/trust with governing our countries.

How can we – the people, the masses – be so easily swayed from love and acceptance towards hatred and violence? Why is it so hard to stay in the place of love, the space where we are one, and not divided into warring factions?

Why?

Gandhi has a question for us

That’s what my US mentor Max told me the other day, over SKYPE. I had to laugh, as this was when I was preparing for my speech at Rotary, and I had witten down a quote by Mahatma Gandhi a few days earlier, thinking that I wanted to use it in my presentation of #skolvåren (aka school spring).

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Gandhi

What Max said was this:

How will you provoke a response from the most powerful leaders in the land? – Gandhi

And in connection with #skolvåren, that sure is a good question to ponder! We have already made good headway, but it’s a long way to go.

So when my husband later that week asked me whether I would like to watch the movie about Gandhi with him, even though we have both seen it many years past, I just had to face that fact that someone’s trying to give me a message, indeed. Third time’s the charm!

So yes, I am listening. I am recalling the insights that came to me while reading a good biography a year or so ago, and also there’s the book ”Mahatma!” by Zac O’Yeah on my bedside table, that is just waiting for me to pick it up and start reading.

20130819-151034.jpgI am picking up several messages. One has to do with going at it a person at a time. Gandhi managed to awaken 350 million Indians, and while it took some time, the goal of India, free from the English, was succeeded in the end. Patience, that’s what Gandhi is telling me. And I feel patient. The rolling stone is moving already, and there’s no stopping it.

I was given a message, and it came to me in many forms.
Have you experienced this? If yes – did you listen to it?