We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them

Albert Einstein said this, and he was right. What does it mean ?

We often create problems based on a false thinking. This thinking includes reckless pursuit of profit, fear, violence and the disregard of the interest of other. In this way we create a circle of violence.

I will tell you a personal experience going back to the 70ies of the last century that made me think. At that time I had the chance to interview a young Vietnamese woman, who had fought against the American troops in Vietnam. She was full of hate and I asked her for her story. She told me this:

As a girl she lived in a small rural village. The people in this village wanted to have nothing to do with the war, but only live a modest and peaceful life. They did not favor the one or the other side in war. One night an US platoon was near their village. At the same time there was a Vietcong sniper in the jungle nearby. He shot at the US soldiers. They apparently thought, they were attacked from the village. The went there, burnt the village down and killed most people, among them the parents and sibblings of this girl. The survivors pledged to fight against American forces and joined the rebel  troops.

I was deeply touched and thoughtful, when I heard this story. And I understood both sides. US soldiers in a country far away from home, marching through the jungle. Then some of their comrades injured or even killed. They followed the rule: Kill or be killed. And the surviving people of the village felt innocently attacked. And they wanted revenge. So a new circle of hate and violence started. As it did in the last decades again and again.

I am convinced,that we will not solve any of the problems of our time with violence, and that a war against terrorism can’t be won by  military means. That’s the thinking we created our problems with. To get out of the vicious circle of violence and counter violence other qualities are needed but those that grow during war. Needed are empathy, tolerance and mutual understanding.

Think about this

 

 

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