I am used to tough times and even tougher neighborhoods. Growing up in (???), it was a rather common sight to see street thugs bullying helpless passers-by without any apparent reason and logic. Once when I was eleven, I even witnessed an old woman courageously fighting for her hand bag against three well-bodied men perhaps twice her weight, in plain view and in broad daylight. This incident resulted, as I had later seen in the evening news, in the old lady’s hospitalization due to two life-threatening chest stab wounds.
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This incident, rather, this injustice that befell that old woman had lingered long in my young mind then. Universal truths about ideologies dealing with life’s beauty, equality for all, and respect among fellowmen started to be questioned in my eleven-year old mind, triggering an endless tumbling of dominoes that I had once believed to be essential truths; like the loss of innocence, or the unfolding of the harsh realities of life. Things that are real, things that just has to be accepted.
After finishing high school, and perhaps because of the fact that the injustice done to the old woman in my childhood had still been constantly troubling my measure on the concepts of equality, I decided to join the United States Army. I personally had two purposes for this undertaking: firstly, to serve the interest of my country and fellow Americans in security matters; and second, to be certain, by experiencing firsthand, whether the beliefs that were destroyed in my childhood years have a ghost of a chance of being redeemed.
My tour of duty in Iraq was the turning point, the awakening of some emotions, rather, of a spiritual hunger in me triggered by the oppressions and bedlam I had witnessed in a far-away land, where human lives seem not as important and as sacred as it should be, and human rights, as enjoyed by Americans and other democratic societies, simply was nonexistent. Iraq is a nation where their President, no less, can order his military to annihilate populations of entire towns of his constituents in pursuit of his experimentations on Biological Warfare; where their military invades another independent nation, much smaller and weaker than them, for reasons of centuries-old and perhaps already-forgotten territorial disputes, and simply because of their being a more affluent nation than his, and the murders committed by the military count as heroic deeds.
The anarchy in Iraq continued even after their President’s overthrow. Nay, the killings, be it political, religious, or personal in nature had even increased to exponential figures after the political transition of power, resulting in the deaths of thousands of our American soldiers in the supposed contained area. This fact, I must admit, brought me to question the effectiveness of the process I had chosen to instigate changes in society; that in spite of the dedication and honor our soldiers have shown in effecting that change, some even making the ultimate sacrifice, there might be some other way more effective than what military means could ever achieve. My second purpose seemed to be in peril from being redeemed.
In all of my Army experiences, both in actual combats and in theoretical briefings and seminars, it is evident that all hostilities had one cause of conflict: domination. Be it gender-based, as when a male dominates a female; in basic social structures, such as in clan wars practiced until today in some developing countries; or even when nations are concerned, such as what are experienced in modern wars; one’s domination over the weaker one has always been the root cause. Problems, which I came to believe, if solved at the very root, would eventually put an end to all major wars in mankind’s history.
Learning the psychological mechanics dealing with social principles and understanding the very nature of mankind with regards to the psychology involving domination would, I now know, surely and ultimately be the major solving factor with the dilemma that warfare had been inflicting on mankind over the ages. The acquisition of this knowledge would bless me with even greater opportunities of continuing the services I have offered, formerly as a United States Army, to a new and even broader battleground: the society, in general.
As I come to remember the old lady from my childhood, I am certain that in learning the science of social ecology, the service that I may be able to render will greatly increase, and its scope will widen. I will be blessed, supplemental to my previous military training, with the knowledge to identify early signs of conflict problems, and will have the capability to create various roads of solutions in dealing with them.
My new goal is this: to dedicate myself in improving the lives of others in the society, be it American or other race, by equipping myself through higher education dealing primarily with these tenets, with the commensurate knowledge required.
This being said, I pray that the psychological symptoms resulting in victims of such nonsense crimes and human rights violations, individually or in a much larger scope, will eventually be eradicated from the hearts of men and the human psyche.
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