People either love this project, or they absolutely hate it, there doesn’t seem to be much in between. If you have been keeping up with our progress, you know that I am referring to the recent comments we received from the brief write-up we received on CommonDreams.org. Though, we did receive a ten-fold increase in new visitors to our main website, www.GraffitiofWar.com, it appeared that the only individuals that reviewed the brief summary and video were avid anti-government activists. We have always encouraged a different viewpoint and are intrigued by those who have a different perspective than the majority. That being said, the comments we received ranged from unimpressed to hateful and ignorant and I really wanted to blog about how wrong these people are, how ignorant and distasteful they acted, what terrible patriots and Americans they are. However, that would just perpetuate what we are attempting to accomplish with this project and that would be more of an atrocity than comments under an article.
Those comments came from the heart of someone, someone that may have lost someone during this war. Perhaps that person had family in Iraq or Afghanistan and is bitter, with good reason, against what has transpired during this decade of war. We will never know, but what we can do is try and empathize with them, play the Devil’s Advocate, think about their perspective, their viewpoint and make an attempt at understanding. Opinions are just that, opinions, not facts, they are neither right, nor wrong and until we can stop shoving our views down the other’s throat, choking them with the righteousness of what we believe is right, we cannot move forward. These arguments could go on forever, and truly they will. However, if we can begin to see world experiences from a diverse set up viewpoints then maybe we could begin moving forward as a society, instead of continuing the downward spiral of all great nations.
What I hope is that we begin to see past the differences among ourselves and to truly strive to understand, without judgment and preconceived ideologies, and empathize with those with whom we might resist. It shows no character to agree with your friends, with those whom you have most everything in common with, what does show character and grace is trying to bridge a gap between those with which you share nothing in common with, those who seem foreign and strange. Someone once said, love your enemies, bless those who curse you. Trading punches for punches shows ignorance, striving to understand and empathize with your enemy displays wisdom and humility. I may not agree with those who attacked the integrity of this project and our service members, but I will strive to ensure that it changes the way I view myself and those around me.
Art by Banksy
This project is about not just service members but civilians, families and everyone that has been affected by the decade of wars. Our focus is not on politics, or foreign policy or if our government was justified or not in going to war against Afghanistan and Iraq. What would the point be? That fact cannot be changed, it has happened so now we need to pick up the pieces, learn from the mistakes of the past so we don’t make them again in the future. Most importantly, we should strive look past our differences, to make this world a better, more peaceful place. This project is our attempt at that goal, however imperfect that attempt may be.
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