ON HUMAN IGNORANCE AND SAVAGERY
To paraphrase my good friend Kurt Vonnegut, the only enemy any soldier has faced in any war is human ignorance and savagery. Human ignorance and savagery is the only enemy any soldier will ever face.
Human ignorance comes from a lack of awareness that we are human beings first, before we attach any other labels. But who will admit to being a human being? No one. We will use labels such as Canadian, American, German, Catholic, Jewish, etc. We will proudly wave flags, or some other symbol, showing that we are Canadian, American, German, etc. None of us will stand and proudly say, “I am a human being!” Why? We do not want to be associated with human beings, and we can hide this association with our labels.
Using labels creates the illusion that we are different from each other. Thinking we are different makes it easy to be savage. “I’m not killing us,” we say. “I’m killing them.” If we had more awareness, then we would know that there is no them, there is only us.