#PeacefulMondays: Fighting for our peace

Tribalism has its place. It bonds us to people we identify with, are nurtured by, and would potentially die for.

But what happens when a tribe’s defenders are disconnected from or disenfranchised by other members of the tribe?

 

American veterans are one of the most striking modern-day examples of this. Many veterans question the wars they’re engaged in. Many more feel alienated when they return.

America commemorated Veterans Day this past weekend. A quick search of related coverage revealed phrases like “the best method for honoring soldiers is simply learning what they do” and “What America Owes Its Veterans: A Better System of Care and Support“.

Last year, I reviewed the book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. It was an eye-opening read on just how invisible American war veterans can feel, and how we can help them re-integrate after they’ve fought for our peace.

But don’t just take it from me.

This is what an Iraq war veteran had to say on the subject:

“People in the military don’t really need applause. They need their fellow countrymen to understand who they are and what they are doing on their behalf.

We may personally have an uneasy relationship with the idea of war.

There can be horrific bloodshed on the battlefields, but it is we who romanticize such searing sacrifices through rose-colored glasses of history, in larger-than-life portrayals on the big screen and in tales we pass down through the generations.

There can be fair criticism of the military-industrial complex, of military adventurism and of believing every conflict can only be solved through military (or nuclear) means.

And yet…

I hold a special place in my heart for those will do battle for us.

I revere their sense of duty.

And I am learning more each day about who they are and what they are doing on our behalf.

Questions to ponder

Coming soon.

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About the author

Maya Mathias

Maya Mathias is a global leadership veteran, with a life and career spanning 3 continents and 5 inspired self-reinventions. She is a peaceful leadership advocate and mentor, bringing her unique blend of East & West to her leadership development and innovation management practice. Maya’s life began with a lower-middle class upbringing in Asia, surrounded by poultry & vegetable farms and the ‘simple life’. She doesn’t forget her humble roots, and her body of work seeks to bring more equality, justice and personal purpose in troubling times. Learn more about Maya here.

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