It is Remembrance Day and I am thinking about all my relatives who fought in wars. A deep sadness spreads in my chest. My outer eyes move over the Pacific Ocean and stay with the expanse of space while my inner eyes wander over military graveyards in Europe with thousands of white crosses in neat rows and the heavy silence they evoke and command.
I have been a soldier, my dad was a soldier, my grandpa also. I am standing in a long lineage of men in arms. For thousands of years men fought all over the earth for what they valued.
When I ramble through history, it seems quite random what men have been willing to fight, to kill and to die for. We fought for our nation, our homeland, for our families, for all kind of religions and political systems, for freedom, for honor, for justice, even for peace.
When I grew up in post-war Germany, it was impossible to be a patriot after what had happened. As a youngster I still felt this love for a homeland, so I sang Irish patriotic songs. That was acceptable.
I contemplated this for a long time. I believe that we as men have some kind of a drive to serve, to serve something bigger than us, to contribute to something valuable, to something worth fighting for. This yearning can almost be intoxicating. This yearning, this desire to serve comes from inside of us. The content, what it is that we are fighting for, this is not inside of us, this comes from the outside. It seems that there is a receptacle in our masculine psyche which is wanting to be connected with some plug in from the outside. Politicians seem to know this. No matter what the real causes, what they tell the young men, the soldiers is that they go out of love for their families, for their country, that they fight for freedom, and then they mention the honor of a man. That usually works, and we men go and fight.
I think this willingness to serve, to stand up for something bigger, this willingness to contribute even with one’s life to a greater cause is a very beautiful, I am almost tended to say, a noble quality of us men.
However, it also scares me as I can feel in myself how easy it is to abuse this. Any demagogue can ignite this fire.
I think that for us men it is important to know these aspects of our psyche. It is not new, we inherited it from our forefathers. We created many good things with this but we also caused a lot of damage, of trauma. When the fighting is over, it often takes generations to deal with the wounding that happened. Let us be very careful in our choice what we serve, what we stand for. Too often men were sent to war for reasons nobody should die for. I also think that the time is over when violence was an acceptable means to be used in political conflict. Today we are facing global challenges which we only will master when we cooperate, not when we use arms and weapons against each other.
It is time to stand up and to make clear what we are standing for and to not leave any doubt about what we are willing to fight for it. However, maybe this time we do not need politicians to tell us what to fight for, not some general who gives us orders; maybe we can hear the call of life itself that it wants to have a future on this planet.
I am far from glorifying war. Yet to honor the soldiers in my family lineage, I want to offer a 25% discount for veterans and for members of the armed forces who are looking for homeopathic treatment. This is valid for one year of treatment if it has been started until the end of January 2020.