Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 35 - Let’s talk about Culture and …..Peace Movements



Usually I draw my themes from what is happening around me, what catches my eye and makes my thoughts revolve. This week it was not only the events in Turkey but also the drama performance ‘Us from the Past’ by a group of young people at the Bedesten in Nicosia.

What does peace movement actually mean and what does it contain? Basically it represents the opinion, wish and will of a group of people which is not accepting the decisions and deeds of their or other countries’ government, with regard to war actions and injustices.

Then we must ask ourselves why are wars started?  The basic reason is want of space, of resources. The people of the world want the whole cake, they are not content with just one piece, a fair share, they want it all. It is greed and the fear of hunger, a question of survival of their tribe. With what do governments protect what they have? With laws and weapons. If a country calls itself peaceful why do they build up armies, forcing by law young people to military service, and why do they produce deadly weapons and make them an important economical product? That is in itself already a warlike action, delivering weapons to a group of people or a country means taking sides.

On the other hand what would happen if a country would discontinue military service and the production of weapons? They would be weak and open to warlike aggressions of other countries. That means peace can only be when you are a strong opponent, when you are feared by the others, feared to press the certain red button which will extinguish the other party, an action which carries in itself the danger of self-destruction in the end. A vicious circle. Why should only a handful of countries have this kind of protection, they all want to protect themselves with deadly weapons to make the others afraid of them. I am just playing with the thought of a weapon free world…..the trouble here would be that people don’t trust each other and would have weapons secretly, just in case.

Renown popular men and women stood up for peace over the last century, artists did, painters, writers and poets, dancers, singers, women and children all over the world, so one could have the impression that actually the whole world population would want nothing but peace. We even have an international court to have war criminals judged. So why does it not work?

Ask yourself! There are so many answers that I could fill several pages with them. We all want too much. Ok, we want peace but we also want a car and want to benefit from all the luxury available to us; for the car we need petrol, for the house we need gas and we need electricity; we need rare earth for technology,  and we need money to get it, and we expect our government and economy to provide for it. How they do it, is their problem. Those in the ruling parties are not any different from us, they want more and more and become corrupt and forget that they are the servants of the people. The same vicious circle.

What do you suggest we do?

To put away with the things that awaken greed? Use a donkey to do the shopping? Or the bus? Live simple, employ some thoughts towards environment? Yes, small steps, but eventually we would arrive somewhere. We should also do away with the belief that we need riches for happiness and recognition. The true riches are elsewhere, freedom of mind, education, creativity, responsibility, communication and sharing, friendship and family and trust. When these riches are endangered as they are at the moment in Turkey, then people must stand up and tell their leaders: STOP, we refuse cooperation and defend our true property.


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