Understanding and Respect

Here's another quote regarding peace that really made me stop and think...  

"It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences. Harry S. Truman

If this is truly the case, then I fear we will never have world peace. It seems there is always someone (usually the US, dare I say it) who has to be pushy about their own beliefs and completely disregard the beliefs of others. It's not just the people we fight against, but also the people we try to help. When you try to understand a culture for what it is, you are showing disrespect to that culture and all of its people.

An example for your consideration.... I served in the US Navy for 5 years. 2 of the years I spent in Yokosuka, Japan. I loved it there! The scenery was gorgeous, the hustle and bustle of a tight-knit city was infectious, and I loved learning about the Japanese culture. However, being that I am an American, not all Japanese people were nice to me. They had a very valid stigma of American Sailors - loud and obnoxious. Most sailors from my base would go out into town to get drunk and be silly. They did not respect the culture of the Japanese people. And so the Japanese didn't like us. The further I got away from that town (similar to any Navy town in the US), the more friendly and receptive the locals were to me and my friends (the not-so-annoying ones). By understanding the culture and respecting the people and practices, we had many peaceful travels in that country.

I just wish this sort of mentality could expand... Think about how things could be different, even in our own country, if men were intelligent enough to respect their fellow man, and mature enough to sit down and "act like adults" to settle any given quarrel. There'd be fewer fights, fewer crimes, maybe even fewer people locked in prison. There'd be happier people and more pleasant communities. There may not be peace, but we'd be able to work things out so that everyone gets something positive...

What are your thoughts on this?

No comments:

Post a Comment