In war there are NEVER any winners. The Ukraine War has been growing for over six months, and the optimistic false narrative in the West is that Russia is losing and Putin is sweating. So are we all, through high energy prices, inflation and rising interest rates which have increased mortgage costs.
In Somalia, the combination of civil war and famine have had a devastating effect on women and children. Last week a mother of four suffering from hunger and malnutrition had to walk for 10 days to a refugee camp, and on the journey, her three-year-old died. She had no energy to bury her and left her by the roadside. Just imagine the pain and anguish for the whole family – the trauma will live on forever. The same applies to Ukrainian and Russian families who were directly harmed by the war. The scars will remain for a long time.
Many of us try to cope either by saying it is all somewhere far away, or by using our wealth as a cushion against the short-term pain. We buckle up by saving on energy usage or buying and storing food to cheat inflation. Or doing two or three jobs to simply pay the monthly bills. Many are forced to suffer in silence.
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In Britain there has been a deep civil war ravaging in the Conservative Party but we shudder to call it that. War only happens in far-away places like Ukraine or Somalia, or in places where there are dictators and terrorists. The Tories deliberate economic attack at home on the poor and even the middle classes are not called a war.
The narrative is changed by spin and lies. Pain is portrayed as our pursuit for growth by feeding the rich with tax cuts, to ensure that the infighting Tories will stay in power for a few more decades. Like the denial of civil war, the gross and utter mess of Brexit is also covered up. One day we will strike a major international trade deal, and then it will all be peace and prosperity. Truth is the first victim of war.
All Dharmic traditions analyse the folly of war, and teach us to practice peace every moment, every hour and every day. It can never be taken for granted. As a former UN Secretary General U Thant once said: “War begins in the minds of men, and it is therefore in the minds of men that peace must lie.”
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India understood that and continuously teaches us to practice prayer, Yoga and meditation to fight our inner devils. Sustainable Power is not over others but over our own self. This opens the door to true liberation and lasting freedom. If we try to seek power over others, we are doomed to fail. There are NEVER any winners in any conflict.
Professor Atul K. Shah [@atulkshah] teaches and writes about Indian wisdom on business, culture and community at various UK universities and is a renowned international author, speaker and broadcaster.