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When we used to wish Peace on Earth
by Thanos Kalamidas
2017-12-25 11:49:45
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When I was young people used to send Christmas Cards with wishes; lots of wishes …mainly one: peace on earth. There was something apocalyptic with this wish and it didn’t only have to do with the Christmas spirit. It had also to do with the fact that our parents had lived a war; some were lost in that big war while more wars were happening all around with one scary one waiting in the cold.

than00001_400In the era of the cold war with wars in Korea, Vietnam, Rhodesia, Uganda and ruthless dictators from Greece and Spain to Chile and Argentina we used to wake up and sleep in the fear of war. I remember school hours under the title: “what are we going to do in a case of a nuclear war” or television documentaries about biological attacks; and all that while I was just eight or nine.

Wishing peace or earth was in the essence of our reality and the wish had a dual message. It was not just about Peace but it was also about Earth. It was this global feeling that we all need to stand together, from Africa to America and from China to Scandinavia, we all need to stand together …if we want Peace. And note that 50 years ago tenses between east and west, politics, religion and race were bad. Really bad.

But there was also the feeling of unity among the people. There was this feeling that we care; we care for each other and we are together in everything. For better or worse, for war or peace we are together. It’s the few up there who don’t want peace. And there was also talk. Even during the darkest times there was some form of exchange, of conversation even if it often ended in “we agree to disagree”. The people wanted peace on earth and they were silently pushing there. They had seen war and they knew something we deny to see nowadays, there are NO WINNERS IN A WAR! THERE IS ONLY DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.

That’s something my parent’s generation and my generation lived and saw with our own eyes. Probably that’s why we also were easy to forgive and forget. We wanted to move forward. We wanted peace on Earth.

than00002_400Nowadays, in the 21st century and the era of emails, Facebook, Instagram Twitter and so many others, I’m afraid that we are back in those dark days but ….BUT while east and west, politics, religion, race and wealth are an issue there is something else in the middle of everything. People. It is Donald Trump who raises issues about race and religion, it is Putin who kills freedom of speech, it is Erdoğan who surpasses democracy, it is Rodrigo Duterte who murders, it is the radical bombers of ISIS, the radical evangelists, the NRA delusional cowboys, Nazis in the Greek parliament and fascists in the Austrian and Finnish government. This is NOT Peace on Earth.

And what earth we are talking about? People elected Donald Trump, people elected Vladimir Putin, people elected Rodrigo Duterte, Erdoğan, people voted for Timo Soini and Nikos Michaloliakos, NRA has 5 million members and ISIS thousands volunteers from EU who grew up with iPhone and iPad and had no real idea how life with radicals is.

So, Peace on Earth but …where the hell are the people?

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