A Christmas Message

Over the past decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource: our people. The tide of war is receding. ~Barack Obama

Today is Christmas Day and in churches around the world the Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all men and women will be one that is repeated frequently.

However contrast the Christmas message to the comment above from former US President, Barack Obama, originally quoted in the British newspaper the Sunday Express in July 2011.

Now I’m referring specifically to his observation that a trillion dollars had been spent on war over the preceding decade. Even for an economy the size of the United States that is truly a staggering sum of money, wouldn’t you agree?

And remember that the United Kingdom has also spent enormous sums of money on war since the turn of the Millennium. Not as much as the United States I know but billions of pounds nevertheless.

Now just think about how that money might have been spent, had it not been spent on warfare.

Some of it could have been used for building and improving schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Surely that would have been a major benefit, both in the USA and the UK, wouldn’t you agree?

Then again, some of it could have been used to improve the education of young people and for providing better care for the elderly. At both ends of the age spectrum people are struggling. That money would have helped, don’t you think?

Additionally some of it could have been used for research to find alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and hydro-carbons. Think of the positive environmental benefits we’d have gained had a solution to our energy needs been found.

Finally, some of it could have been used for better communication between people around the world and for improving the understanding between different cultures. Cultures may differ but people are people and really we’re all the same the world over. So anything that breaks down barriers between people has the potential to make life better.

All that money could have been used as a force for good. That would have been a great idea, don’t you think?

No doubt our politicians believed what they were doing was intended as a force for good and of course it is easy to reflect in hindsight. However it is hard to consider these numbers without wondering whether it was the best use of this money, particularly as it now translates into debt the weight of which will be borne mainly by future generations.

People not yet born may be impoverished by this debt bequeathed to them by their forefathers. If nothing else, you must question the fairness of this situation.

Dear Reader you must make up your own mind about the wisdom or otherwise of spending money on war. However I can’t help thinking that there must have been a better way. War doesn’t decide who’s right; only who’s left and at what cost. Wars create bitterness, resentment and misery. And they create more problems than they could possibly solve.

Personally I think we must work harder at getting along with each other and we must find ways to avoid conflict in future. If we can focus on what we all have in common, rather than any differences between us, then that would be a good first step. Well I think so anyway.

Wherever you go in my experience, people are just people; we laugh; we cry; we eat; we sleep; you cut us and we bleed. Actually we’re not so different at all, are we?

If only our focus could be on showing common courtesy to other people and making sure that resources are shared more evenly. These would be worthy objectives, don’t you think?

Wherever you are Dear Reader, if you’re celebrating Christmas today then I wish you a very merry Christmas and may it be peaceful and filled with warmth, abundance and the comradeship of family and friends.

However if for you today is just another working day, then I hope the environment in which you work is both friendly and peaceful. And I hope the world in which you live is peaceful too.

May God bless you all and may 2018 prove to be all you would like it to be.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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