Recently, I watched a video made from a compilation of clips of American soldiers returning home to visit their loved ones. They were reunited beautifully through embrace and teary kisses. It was amazing and beautiful to see the soldiers and their loved ones so happy. Their faces were lit with intense joy and happiness which I think one can only understand if they experienced it themselves. Emotions welled up in me and after a brief moment, I realised why.
These people, soldiers of the American army, they returned to their loved ones after working for long periods overseas in dangerous and hostile places. They returned to see their loved ones and being glad that their loved ones are safe. We expect these soldiers – tasked to serve and protect their nation, trained to survive in harsh conditions and some, if not all, had killed people – to have crude and emotionless hearts, however, the video showed that they are still able to show so much love. It is for this very reason that I felt emotional. It shows that at the very heart of war, there are human beings with human hearts and human emotions.
The thought begged me to rethink about everything we had assumed about our enemies. Maybe they are not enemies at all. Maybe, they are just people wanting to keep their families and loved ones safe, people who just wants to safeguard whatever and whoever they treasure just like us.
If we strip the loyalty of these soldiers, if we strip their nationalities and race, if we strip every single ideology that they seemed to be upholding, we can see the true reason why they are fighting. It is not for democracy nor communism, it is not for their country, it is not for the cruel and dishonest leader of their nation but it is for their loved ones. It is to see their loved ones safe with the chance to grow up normally and become wonderful adults who are beneficial to society.
Take a look at your so-called ‘enemies’. Do you think that they are doing it for a power-hungry leader? Do you think that they are doing it for their own personal glory? Do you think that they even want to fight? No, but the situation forces them to. These people are human beings with human hearts and human emotions. It is inborn to protect your loved ones, to fight just to see your loved ones safe at the end of the day. These people are just like you and I. When someone threatens to harm your loved ones and invade your livelihood, you will definitely stand and fight.
Therefore, we need to realise that we are not at all different. It just so happens that our ‘leaders” interests were in conflict and they had decided that going to war would be a highly viable solution.
We need to recognise that in war, there are human beings with human hearts and human emotions and these human beings are the ones mostly affected by the conflict. Our ‘enemies’ also want to go home to visit their loved ones and embrace them with tears in their eyes just like us.
Therefore, I suggest that all of us rethink about everything that we know about who our enemies are, about what we were told about our enemies and why are they even our enemies. You will soon realise that our enemies are just like us and at the very core of every war is because someone started to threaten the safety of another’s loved ones. If we understand that, I am very sure that that empathetic approach will solve so many of our problems.