Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.
Weapons are the tools of fear;
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.
Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?
His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn’t wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?
He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.
Around 2003, I wrote a post quoting Ben Franklin’s “There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.” Of course I had someone still living in a neo-con wet dream flame me on my own blog and tell me how wrong, wrong, wrong I was. Of course then, so was Ben. And I guess, from this quote, Lao Tzu.
This passage reminds me of when I went to Sea World in Florida and there were all these Budweiser ads doing their “support the war” shtick. And I looked around me and noticed that no one here in the US is really suffering from our invasion of Iraq. No one was collecting nylon or rationing food. In fact, we are as fully fed as ever. We are so removed from the suffering in this war that we are okay with sending other citizens to get killed and maimed while we buy yellow ribbon magnets for our cars.
We are so far from the way.The Tao