To fight or negotiate
by: Gordon Barthel
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Dreaming of - - to fight or negotiate
I dream of a civilization that celebrates peace, not violence, as the supremely human way to settle our disputes and differences; a civilization that reminds us humankind is the only species on this beautiful blue sphere endowed with the magic of discourse, the unique biological ability to settle conflicts with words rather than brute force; a civilization that reminds us humanity is the only species on this planet with the incredible ability to settle our differences with the power of thought rather than the power of fists and fangs;
I dream of a civilization that venerates the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “there are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no cause that I am prepared to kill for;” a civilization that argues violence is not the most esteemed response for beings possessing theoretically superior intellects; a civilization that argues violence may be necessary when dealing with rabid beasts but not when dealing with sentient beings endowed with the power of language, a unique biological endowment not even the mighty king of beasts possesses, an endowment not even the great apes possess;
I dream of a civilization that asserts dialogue is the truly human way to settle our differences and disputes for every other species on this planet has little choice to but resort to the biological default of fight, flee or freeze; a civilization that asserts talking is the uniquely human way to settle our grievances and conflicts for no other species can use the power of words to negotiate mutually beneficial solutions;
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