Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, August 4, 2013

5-26-13 RMB “Man is More Ape then Angel”

5-26-13 RMB “Man is More Ape then Angel” posted 8-4-13
Dear Rita Mae Brown
I am almost half way through High Hearts. About the Civil War, the character Mars says “…after this war, there will be another war, and one after that. Man is more ape than angel.”
The boys, my three nephews, argue all the time and I ask them, when all is said and done, what have they gained in the arguing? Do they feel better? Did they get their way? Or did everyone get sent to their rooms to cool off? Did they learn anything, maybe how to argue better… or perhaps that arguing often sets us back more than it moves us forward?
How many lives have been lost to war? Everything has averages and a projected outcome. If all leaders considering war were to look at the lives that would be lost, the cost to state and humanity, would they under any circumstance say “We can afford to lose a hundred soldiers or a thousand soldiers. Let’s just line them up, shoot them now and get it over with. Let’s save the cost of travel and ammunition for them to shoot the other guys, because after all isn’t it the richer nation that wins?”
What a crazy idea, we would not kill our own…yet is that not what we do, sending them in harm’s way?
This method, it would remove the element of winning. What do we win? If it is the greater good we are fighting for, isn’t there a way of finding it, without bloodshed? Shouldn’t it be obvious, after all it is the greater good, not a mission to determine the most murderous nation, right? Or does goodness have absolutely nothing to do with war and the reasons touted for it?
If every person did their best to be their best, if every nation showed equal respect for one another, for their own citizens, what would we have to fight about?
It’s easy to ask rhetorical questions. When my own temper rises, I am far from level headed. Those six RMB words spell it out clearly, “Man is more ape than angel.” Knowing that, it seems there must be a way to tame the ape, to value its strength, preserve its passion…and honor life, all life, at the same time. 
When we look for answers, we find them,

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