Each day from dawn to dusk Sisyphus strained under his load of heavy bombs as he struggled up the mountain. It was slavish, back-breaking work. He sweated and groaned as he inched his way toward the top of the mountain.
Always, before he reached the top, the bombs were taken from him and loaded onto bomber aircraft. Sisyphus would stand and wipe his brow as he watched the planes take off into the darkening sky on their way to destroy yet more peasant villages somewhere far away.
Sisyphus believed that he was condemned by fate to carry the bombs up the mountain each day of his life. Since he never reached the top, each sunrise he began anew his arduous and debilitating task.
Strangely, Sisyphus was happy in his work, as were those who loaded the bombs onto the planes and those who dropped the bombs on peasant villages. As Sisyphus often repeated, “It is a job and it fills my days.”
Sisyphus with bombs contributes his labors to the war system, as so many of us do. Let us work to disarm Sisyphus and give him back his rock. Our reward will be saving peasant villages and their inhabitants from destruction and the world from annihilation. By our efforts, we may even save ourselves. It is the Sisyphean task of our time.
David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org).