On Veteran's Day, I am reminded to honor Veteran's and I do. My father is a World War II Veteran. He fought to protect democracy around the world for four years of his young life. I am grateful for the sacrifice so many gave and I cherish the freedoms we have in America.
I also detest war. War is simply when one entity is opposing it's will on another until the other finds they must defend themselves with force. It is a lack of communication, negotiation, compassion, and respect of individual rights. I think we can do better than war. We can honor each other, communicate, and come to agreements. This is possible when we set aside our ego, greed, force, and desire for power.
Moms do this on a daily basis. We set aside our needs, our ego, our desires for rest or a full meal to care for others. We know it is possible to negotiate, we do it with toddlers and/or teens every day. We may appear to be forceful at times, with impending consequences for certain behavior....but our end goal is to support our children to make responsible choices on their own, without our influence. Much like a sovereign country. Our goal is to have them be free.
So on Veteran's Day, we honor the Veteran's who protected our freedom in the past, and we look forward to a future where war is not necessary, where freedom is respected. We ask that everyone, starting with themselves, be the kind of people like mindful parents need to be every day, who negotiate peace, support responsibility, and respect freedom. Listening without judgment, being curious, hugging instead of shunning...If we all do this in our homes, our children, who will grow up to be leaders, will be the ones to one day choose freedom instead of oppression.
In addition, we ask that this thinking is applied to pest and weed control in your backyard, town, and food choices. Will Allen's book "War on Bugs" very aptly explains how chemicals were pushed on farmers generations ago ( and since then landscapers and gardeners) - to protect their crops and kill the bugs. This war does not honor the bugs role in our ecosystem. It does not respect the soil's contribution to nutrition, and it does not support carbon draw-down which can reverse climate change. Chemical gardening, landscaping, and farming enslave the user to use more and more toxic chemicals. It does not give the user the freedom we need to thrive.
Farmers that do respect bugs, like one I met in Maui, plants a row of plants that act as bug food. The bugs eat that plant instead of other more valuable plants in his garden ( like how a mom feeds her grumpy child!). He plants flowers which deter pests ( a mom distracts her child to a different activity!). Others use natural oils to deter them, respecting nature (moms might use extra chores!). Others, to combat pests or weeds, simply grow a different crop (a mom changes the activity). The point is these farmers are responsible for their part in the situation and make creative choices (moms need to be creative every moment of parenting, and dads and grandparents too). That's freedom!
So today we call for freedom from the kind of thinking which enslaves our people into war on anything. We call for compassion, communication, creativity, and connection. If you don't understand someone, if you don't like what someone is doing, including bugs- will you seek to understand, respect their perspective, and be compassionate?
When we start in our families, we create a world where we can all thrive.
With Gratitude and Love,
P.S. In support of the holiday and a day off, this article has not been edited by my editor, please forgive typos or grammar issues. Thank you.