As a young man, faced with the Vietnam War, I learned to follow my conscience, rather than the path of least resistance. I learned that the US government, or any government, can lie a country into war, but that it cannot prosecute that war without willing soldiers and a willing populace. I learned that a government can order a young person to kill on its behalf, but it can’t force a young person to do so. I learned that a single committed person, young or old, can stand against the US government and prevail. I learned that war is a terrible and often senseless tragedy, and that there are no good wars. I learned that wars are a foolish way to settle conflicts, and that nuclear weapons have made the potential destruction of war far more devastating. I learned that peace is not the space between wars, but rather a dynamic social process in which change occurs nonviolently. I learned that peace is not only an end but a means. I learned that peace requires perseverance, as does any great goal worth struggling for. I learned that we are all connected, with each other, with the past and with the future. I learned that each of us has a responsibility to act for the common good and for generations yet to come, and that none of us has a right to give up on achieving a more peaceful and decent world.
The Most Important Lessons Life Taught Me
By David Krieger|2014-04-11T23:47:34-07:00April 1, 2013|
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.