War is the world’s antibodies, rushing to defeat one man. War is not one person in place, who is brave enough to stop the man. War is the shining demonstration, of what’s not to be done.

I imagine being on the battlefield, standing between you and your enemy, I have one hand on your shoulder, and one hand on your opponent’s, and I say, “This Is Not What We Want To Do With Our Neighbors.”

And you two make eye contact; you both agree. It cannot be just my imagination, when I see it clearly so.

If you put down your weapon and go home, you say you will face severe consequences; your superiors will prosecute you, officials will hunt and imprison you, your family will be in danger, and one man cannot stop a nation’s push to fight.

I say, better to wage those battles than this one.

Better to fight on the domestic front than through invasion.

This war. You are being ordered to kill, by a man who does not value your life. You are going to war for that man.

This war is not for your country’s noble defense. You are on offense, an invasion, killing someone whom you do not know. If I say that you don’t know how you could enrich your enemy’s life, you should call me a liar. Because in your heart you know exactly how it goes when two strangers get to know each other. You have done it, you have seen it, it has been demonstrated to you over and over in your life: There’s a flood of good feelings when a lifetime of friendship begins.

Two groups of people can decide to have it the good way. This is not just the privilege of historically peaceful lands.

Your “enemy”. Disregard your superiors for a moment and think about the person you’re to kill. He is your brother. You should be doing everything you can to hold him in high regard. Your “enemy” would love to greet you as a friend. He would love to share stories with you. Love to travel with you, with your only care being, who else can we include?

Men can build great bonds, starting with you. He would love to trust you, and to have earned your trust.

You two should be working together, shaking hands at a tradeshow, buying coffee on a street corner, exchanging points of view on a life lesson that you’ve both held back until now.

Stop the war. Start something else. It can be better.

War is, This Is Not What We Want To Do With Our Neighbors. I’m holding you both in my hands, and I can see the change come over you.

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
This entry was posted in The Literate War. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to STOP

  1. Clive Donald Watts. says:

    A nice piece. If only it could come true.

Tell Ara what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s