“Little Swimmer” © R.L. Herron

As young as they are, my grandchildren are very capable swimmers.

There is no need for intense observation and concern regarding their actions. They are very much at ease in the water. Watching them is actually relaxing and relatively stress-free.

If only life in general could be more like that.

Unfortunately, humanity is a very fickle, ill-mannered species. It often seems the whole earth is in need of a disciplinary “time-out” — but there is no cosmic planet-sitter.

Even if there were a planetary pre-school, it would likely not be capable of preventing much of the mischief homo sapiens can create.

The cries of “Mine!” — “No, mine!” echo around the planet. Sadly, we are a species well known for letting our childish behavior, tribal differences, political disagreements or ethnic arguments erupt into violence.

Yet war is such a savage way for human beings to behave. No one who has ever been involved in war — even remotely — would disagree. There are no winners in war.

Such conflict is so universally repugnant a prohibition against it is built into one of our most accepted agreements on global behavior — the United Nations charter. The only exception to war’s illegality is for self-defense.

That exception is also a damning indication of our sorry, brutal nature.

Despite our best intentions we anticipate the need to retaliate at some point, so we make a provision for it. War is such a widespread, common occurrence the idea of a period without it seems almost quaint.

I worry now for my grandchildren as I did for my sons.

I hope there is a period of “quaintness” in their future. A long one. A period without strife. Without hatred. Without violence. Without war.

A period that — like watching my grandchildren swim — does not require constant, intense vigilance to ensure their safety.

That probably makes me an old-fashioned idealist, but I don’t care. For the sake of my grandchildren I can at least hope.

I have seen war and know you need hope to foster all those quaint ideas like friendship, trust, harmony and peace. For the sake of all the grandchildren in the world I can do my part to make this a better place, and I can hope.

If enough of us do that we just might have a chance.


2 Responses to “Reflections”

  1. Ron Herron Says:

    Thanks, Penny. The feedback means a lot to me.


  2. Penny Says:

    This is one of your best. I could not agree more.


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