broken white mug with poppies

#MusicMonday ~ When will we ever learn?

Hello out there in the blogosphere, how are you doing? I hope life is treating you well and that you are lucky to live in a peaceful country. But if you live in a country blighted by war know my heart and prayers are with you.

video credit: Edwin Starr via InnerMusicLove on YouTube
…(War) h’uh
Yeah!
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin) uh-huh, uh-huh
(War) h’uh
Yeah!
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin’)
Say it again, y’all
(War) h’uh (h’uh) look out!
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin’)
Listen to me … via MetroLyrics

Today is Remembrance Day in the UK. At 11 the country observed a 2-minute silence to remember all those who gave their lives for their countries freedom.

I have to admit the older I get the more I have a problem with this tradition. For me it is very important to remember those who died in previous and ongoing conflicts, however, I believe that this “they are hero’s attitude” is hypocritic.

Soldiers give their lives and when they come home and suffer from the effects the violence they had to participate in give them they do not get the help they need. Also, I believe most violent conflicts could be prevented in the first place if people, countries and politicians would do something. Remember the Yazidis fleeing the so-called Islamic State in 2014? Every single western country looked on and with not doing anything allowed the extremists to take over more and more land and inflame the crisis in Syria even more. Our value of peace is only applied if our countries and politicians win anything from it. That is not right!

I believe in Jesus’s rule to turn the other cheek even though I am very aware of how difficult this is. I am fully aware that if I am attacked and have a weapon I would probably use it. But this way we only put oil on the flames of conflicts. If we do not want war then we should not even think of war as I wrote in 2012:

If you do NOT want war… by Bee Halton

Dedicated to Wolfgang Borchert & Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t think war

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t talk war

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t teach war

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t allow war games

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t allow war toys

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t produce war games

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t produce war toys

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t produce weapons

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t train soldiers

If you do NOT want war ~ don’t solve conflicts with war

If you do NOT want war ~ do not do war!

But do you really not want WAR?

Do we really NOT want war? That is a question every one of us should ask ourselves. Let’s be honest with ourselves and start where we are when it comes to aggression in ourselves. It’s hard I know. But we can only begin with ourselves. And in my opinion, peace is only possible if we accept that we are an inherently aggressive species. If we accept that then we can find ways to overcome the aggression in ourselves but also war as a whole. Maybe we should learn from the Vulcans 🙂 .

One song that inspired the anti-war movement in Germany after the war is Pete Seegers “Where have all the flowers gone” which Marlene Dietrich and many others famously sang. What goes around comes around is the message I see in the cycle between flowers and graves. And if we allow ourselves to have a look at experiences of war outside of the hero adoration then we realise that no one wins in a war.

Germany still has to deal with its war mongering years in both World Wars. Northern Ireland still suffers from their violent conflict over being part of the United Kingdom. It never ends as long as we see War as something heroic and important to do. I believe it is time to make a memorial to all those who refused to go to war. I believe it is time to have a remembrance day to all those who went to prison or worse to stay true to their value of non-violence. I believe it is time to teach peace, co-operation and tolerance and no we are not doing it yet. We are doing a bad job of it because otherwise there wouldn’t be constant shootings in the United States, there would not be any war anywhere in the world and there wouldn’t be politicians who were allowed to use inflammatory language.

So when will we ever learn??????

video credit: Pete Seeger via Spadecaller on YouTube

Pete Seeger: Where have all the Flowers gone via Genius Lyrics

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

War ~ Edwin Starr Lyrics via MetroLyrics

Perceptions/Gesichtspunkte

November 2018

The question on how you can have a respectful conversation with someone whom you totally disagree with has become even more important to me after Brexit and populist politicians like Trump being more and more in power.  I  haven’t found an answer even though I would like to be able to.

August 2012

Sometimes you have a conversation with someone but it is like you talk to a wall. You talk about the same subject but not about the same. You know what I mean?

It is probably true that you understand what your preconception tells you to understand. An example? If someone says: “Evolution creates new species” a conservative Christian who believes in creationism will conceive it as a lie. A scientist, on the other hand, would rather see it as a fact. If they would have a conversation about it at all they would probably perceive each other as fanatics and they would not find common ground.

I wonder how you could respect each other’s opinions or believes even if they are exactly the opposite of your own. How do you do communication without getting sarcastic or trying to convince the other that you are right?

Fact usually is that both are right it just depends on your experience or philosophy for example. But what do we need to manage communication in mutual respect without trying to make out our vision is the only truth?

Description for visually impaired readers: To left illustration of three trees with differently coloured canopies (light green, orange, dark green). To right writing saying Bi-lingual

November 2018

Die Frage, wie man sich mit Menschen, mit denen man ueberhaupt nicht uebereinstimmt, eine respektvolle Unterhaltung haben kann ist mir jetzt noch viel wichtiger nachdem Brexit passierte und polemische Politikier wie Trump ueberall mehr Macht gewinnen. Ich habe immer noch keine Antwort gefunden, obwohl ich gerne eine haette.

August 2012

Manchmal redet man mit einem Menschen aber es ist als ob man an eine Wand redet. Man redet ueber das gleiche Thema aber nicht ueber das Gleiche. Weisst Du, was ich meine?

Es ist vermutlich wahr, dass man immer das versteht, was einem sein Vorverstaendnis zu verstehen gibt. Ein Beispiel? Wenn jemand sagt “Evolution bringt neue Spezies hervor” waere das fuer einen konservativen Christen, der an die Lehre der Schoepfungsgeschichte glaubt eine Luege, waehrend es fuer einen Wissenschaftler eine Tatsache ist. Falls die zwei ueberhaupt ein Gespraech darueber haetten, wuerden sie sich vermutlich als Fanatiker ansehen und wuerden keine gemeinsame Ebene finden.

Ich frage mich oft, wie man die Meinung oder den Glauben seines Gegenuebers respektieren kann, wenn es genau gegenteilig zur eigenen ist. Wie kann man dann kommunizieren, ohne sarkastisch zu werden, oder zu versuchen, den anderen davon zu ueberzeugen, dass die eigene Meinung die richtige ist?

Vermutlich ist eh beides richtig es kommt nur auf die eigene Erfahrung oder Philosophie an. Aber was brauchen wir, um in gegenseitigem Respekt zu kommunzierien, ohne den anderen davon ueberzuegen zu wollen, dass die eigene Sichtweise die richtige ist?

 

 

And this poem is still so, so necessary!

October 2018
I feel this poem is more important than ever and I feel like I need to shout it louder than ever!
September 2017
I am working on a post about 50 translated poets and writer’s everybody should have read before they are 50 one of which I chose to be Wolfgang Borchert. He was a German author and playwright who fought WWII as a soldier and passed away shortly afterwards. He wrote one of the most powerful anti-war poems and I believe it is more important than ever.
I have taken this translation by Ryan Wilcox from Rereadinglives.co.uk:
“Then There is Only One Thing to Do”. (A very powerful anti war poem, universal in power)
 
By Wolfgang Borchert
Translated by Ryan Wilcox. (Placed in public domain by Ball State University)
 
You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If they order you
tomorrow to stop making water pipes and cook pots and start
making helmets and machine guns, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Girl behind the counter and girl at the office. If they order
you tomorrow to fill hand grenades and mount scopes on sniper rifles,
then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Factory owner. If they order you tomorrow, to sell gun powder
instead of talcum powder and cocoa, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Researcher in the laboratory. If they order you tomorrow, to
invent a new death to do away with old life, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Poet in your room. If they order you tomorrow not to sing
love songs, but songs of hate, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Doctor at the sick bed. If they order you tomorrow to certify
men as fit for war, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Minister in the pulpit. If they order you tomorrow to bless
murder and praise war as holy, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Captain on the steamer. If they order you tomorrow not to
transport wheat but cannons and tanks, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Pilot at the airfield. If they order you tomorrow to carry
bombs and incineraries over cities, then there’s only one thing to
do:
Say NO!
You. Tailor at your table. If they order you tomorrow to start
sewing uniforms, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Judge in your robe. If they order you tomorrow to report to
the military court, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man at the train station. If tomorrow they order you to
give the signal for the ammunition and the troop trains to
depart, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man in the village and man in the city. If they come for
you tomorrow and with your induction papers, then there’s
only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, you, mother
in Frisco and London, you, on the banks of the Huang Ho and the
Mississippi, you, mother in Nepal and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo –
mothers in all regions on earth, mothers all over the world, if
they order you tomorrow to bear children – nurses for military
hospitals and new soldiers for new battles, mothers all over the
world, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO! Mothers, say NO!
Because if you don’t say NO, if YOU don’t say no, mothers, then;
then:
In the noisy port cities, hazy with steam, the large groaning ships
will grow silent, and like titanic, mammoth corpses, filled with
water, they will lethargically totter against the lifeless, lonely,
algae-, seaweed-, and shell-covered walls of the docks, the body
that previously appeared so gleaming and threatening now reaking
like a foul fish cemetery, rotten, sickly and dead –
the streetcars will be senselessly bent and dented like dull,
glass-eyed birdcages and lie like petals beside the confused, steel
skeletons of the wires and tracks, behind rotten sheds with holes
in their roofs, in lost, crater-strewn streets –
a mud-gray, heavy, leaden silence will roll in, voracious
and growing in size, will establish itself in the schools and
universities and theaters, on sport fields and children’s playgrounds,
horrible and greedy and unstoppable –
the sunny, juicy grapes will spoil on the neglected slopes, the rice
will dry up in the desolate earth, the potatoes will freeze in the
plowed fields and the cows will stretch their dead, rigid legs into
the sky like upturned milking stools –
in the institutions, the ingenious inventions of the great physicians
will become sour, rot, mold into fungus –
the last sacks of flour, the last jars of strawberries, the pumpkins
and the cherry juice will spoil in the kitchens, chambers and cellars,
in the cold storage lockers and storage areas – the bread under the
upturned tables and on splintered plates will become green and the
melted butter will smell like soft soap, the grain on the fields will
have bent down to the earth alongside rusty ploughs like a defeated army,
and the smoking, brick chimneys, the food and smokestacks of the stamping
factories, covered by eternal grass, will crumble, crumble, crumble –
then the last human being, clueless with slashed intestines and
polluted lungs, will wander alone under the poisonous, glowing sun and
vacillating constellations, wander lonely among immense mass graves and
cold idols of the gigantic, concrete-block, deserted cities, the
last human being, scrawny, mad, blasphemous, complaining – and his
terrible complaint: WHY? will trickle away unheard into
the steppe, waft through the burst ruins and die out in the rubble of
churches, slap against impenetrable bunkers, fall into pools of blood,
unheard, answerless, the last animal-like cry of the last animal human being – 
all of this will come about, tomorrow, tomorrow perhaps, perhaps
already tonight, if – if – if – you don’t
say NO.
This is an audio version of the poet himself reciting this poem in German:

We still want peace/ Wir wollen immer noch Frieden

September 2018

 

Wow, I just found one of my oldest posts I still have in my archives. This video and Emmanuel Jal’s mission to bring peace not only to his country but to all the world was very important to me then. It still is and I believe it is more important than ever. Please enjoy a very old post 🙂

 

December 2010

 

This morning I got a twitter message from Alicia Keys featuring Emmanuel Jal who was a child soldier and is a musician now. I just can not get enough of his song “We want peace. . He started the campaign WE WANT PEACE to help prevent another genocide in Sudan.

So please spread the word about the campaign, download the video (on the bottom right side of the page) and pass it on to friends and family and follow Emmanuel on Twitter, Facebook etc. (* I think they do not share the video anymore)

War is a difficult subject for me as I come from a country that has caused war on two occasions in Europe.
I have been raised both on my family’s side and by my schooling to see war as no solution to anything at all. As a social worker, I have been working with elderly women who started to remember the horrifying experiences of fleeing, being raped, bombed and losing everything. Their suffering both when it happened and years afterwards still touches me. My granny just starts talking about her experiences of being forced to work in a weapon factory in her teenage years with highly toxic substances that cause her health problems even now.
Comparing the experiences of the common people both in Germany and England I have learned that there is no difference. In the end, it is the common people who pay with the whole of their lives for the lies that politicians spread to be able to cause war or to end war. We all pay for it and the weapons get worse so we pay worse. It is time to say NO!

On the other hand, this campaign is such an effective but low-cost advertising for Emmanuel Jal’s Video and CD. It will be a great success as people want peace and so many pass it on. That gives me a bitter taste of the whole thing.

But for me, the cause is more important and I think it is great that VIP’s use their influence to fight against the many evils that make this world a bad place to be. They have the power to make these things public and to do something. And for me, it is crucial to do something even if it is a little.
My ancestors have been asked:” Why haven’t you done anything?” I want to be able to answer that question with: “I have!”

 

September 2018

 

Wow, ich habe gerade einen meiner aeltesten Beitraege in meinen Archiven gefunden. Dieses Video und Emmanuel Jal’s Mission Frieden nicht nur zu seinem eigenen Land sondern zur ganzen Welt zu bringen war mir damals sehr wichtig. Sie ist mir immer noch wichtig und ich glaube es ist wichtiger als jemals zuvor. Bitte geniesst diesen sehr alten Beitrag 🙂

 

Dezember 2010

 

Heute morgen habe ich eine Nachricht auf Twitter von Alicia Keys bekommen, die mir Emmanuel Jal, der ein Kinder Soldat war und nun ein Musiker ist, empfohlen hat. Ich kann einfach nicht genug von seinem Lied “We want Peace”bekommen. Er hat die Kampagne WE WANT PEACE gestartet, die versucht, einen weiteren Genozid im Sudan, zu verhindern. Bitte gebt die Links zur  Kampagne, zum download des video’s (am unteren rechten Rand der Seit) weiter und folgt Emmanuel auf Twitter,Facebook ect. ( * Ich denke sie teilen das Video nicht mehr)

 

Krieg ist ein schwieriges Thema fuer mich, da ich von einem Land komme, das zweimal Krieg ueber Europa gebracht hat.

 

Ich bin beides von meiner Familie und von der Schule dazu erzogen worden, dass Krieg keine Loesung ist. Als Sozialarbeiterin habe ich mit aelteren Frauen gearbeitet, die die Traumas von Flucht, vergewaltigt werden, Bomben und alles verlieren erlebt haben. Deren Leiden damals und dann Jahre spaeter beruehrt mich immer noch tief. Meine Oma faengt gerade erst an, ueber ihre Erfahrungen zu sprechen, die sie als Teenager machte als sie in einer Waffenfabrik arbeiten musste. Sie war hochtoxischen Substanzen ausgesetzt, die ihr immer noch gesundheitlich zu schaffen machen.

 

Wenn ich die Erfahrungen der einfachen Leute in Grossbritannien und Deutschland vergleiche finde ich, dass sie exakt die gleichen sind. Am Ende sind es immer die einfachen Leute, die mit ihrem ganzen Leben fuer die Luegen bezahlen muessen, die Politiker waehlen, um Krieg zu beginnen oder zu beenden. Es sind wir, die dafuer bezahlen und die Waffen werden schlimmer und so muessen wir mehr bezahlen. Es ist Zeit “NEIN!” zu sagen.

 

Auf der anderen Seite ist diese Kampagne eine sehr guenstige und effektive Werbung fuer Emmanuel Jal’s Video und CD.Es wird ein grosser Erfolg sein, weil die Menschen Frieden wollen und viele es weiterleiten werden.  Das gibt mir dem Ganzen einen bitteren Beigeschmack.

 

Aber ich denke der Grund ist wichtiger und ich finde es gut, dass Beruehmtheiten ihren Einfluss geltend machen, um gegen die schlechten Dinge zu kaempfen, die die Welt einen boesen Platz machen. Sie haben die Macht, Dinge bekannt zu machen und etwas zu aendern. Und fuer mich ist es wichtig etwas zu aendern auch wenn es nur ein wenig ist.

 

Meine Vorfahren wurden gefragt:” Warum hast Du nichts getan?” Ich will die Frage mit “Ich habe etwas getan!” beantworten.

The poem causes questions/Das Gedicht stellt mir Fragen

September October 2018

I wrote these questions down in April 2012 when Guenter Grass wrote this controversial poem. Little did I know that Anti-semitism would be a huge topic again this year.

April 2012

inspired by Guenter Grass “What must be said” and many articles written about it.

The poem causes questions

Are people who criticise the State of Israel automatically Anti-Semites?

Is a poem an appropriate way of political expression?

Is there a nuclear bomb in Iran?

What does Israel win by a nuclear war?

Do democracies really want peace?

Do Jewish people want to be identified for the rest of time by Nazi’s atrocious crimes and the trauma caused?

What is the difference between a child growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto and a child growing up in Palestinian camps?

Why is sending a submarine capable of using nuclear weapons to one country ok and not to another?

If the United Nations really want to stop war why are they using it to solve problems?

What is a healing way of reconciliation?

Who judges what reconciliation means?

How long is it reparation and when will it become an excuse for gaining more power?

How much freedom of speech do we really have?

Is feeling guilty an appropriate way of dealing with problems?

Who has the answers?

Oktober 2018

Ich schrieb diese Fragen im April 2012 auf als dieses kontroverse Gedicht von Guenter Grass veroeffentlich wurde. Es war mir natuerlich nicht bewusst, dass Antisemitismus dieses Jahr wieder ein Thema werden wuerde.

April 2012

inspiriert durch das Gedicht “Was gesagt werden muss”  von Guenter Grass und vielen Artikeln dazu.

Das Gedicht stellt mir Fragen

Sind Menschen, die den Staat Israel kritisieren automatisch Antisemiten?

Ist ein Gedicht ein angemessener Weg, sich politisch zu aeussern?

Gibt es eine Atombombe im Iran?

Was wuerde Israel von einem Atomkrieg gewinnen?

Wollen Demokratien wirklich Frieden?

Wollen juedische Menschen bis ans Ende der Zeit ihre Identitaet durch die furchtbaren Gewalttaten der Nazis und dem daraus entstandenen Trauma gewinnen?

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einem Kind, das im Warschauer Gettho aufwachsen musste und einem Kind, das in den palaestinensischen Lagern aufwaechst?

Warum ist es in Ordnung U-Boote, die Atomsprengkoepfe transportieren koennen, in ein Land zu senden aber nicht in ein anderes?

Wenn die Vereinten Nationen wirklich den Krieg ausrotten wollen, warum nutzen sie ihn immer noch, um Konflikte zu loesen?

Wie sieht ein heilender Weg der Versoehnung aus?

Wer entscheidet, was Versoehnung bedeutet?

Wie lange ist es Wiedergutmachung und wann wird es eine Ausrede, um mehr Macht zu gewinnen?

Wieviel Meinungsfreiheit haben wir wirklich?

Sind Schuldgefuehle ein guter Weg, mit Problemen umzugehen?

Wer hat die Antworten?