“The opposite of war isn’t peace; It’s creation.” I’ve been thinking about this line from the song La Vie Boheme from Rent for quite some time now. While Rent itself is an amazing story with a very strong message about love, acceptance, and unity… I sometimes think this particular line goes so under the radar, when I believe it is one of the most powerful and true statements I’ve ever heard. When we fight against a war, we create. Not just wars against other countries, but also the everyday wars that happen with other people and within ourselves.
Think about it: What happens when America goes to war? We protest. How do we protest? We write. We sing. We chant. We make our unhappiness be heard. We raise our voices so that someone will hear us, so someone will listen, so someone will make a change. We create.
When we have “wars” with other people, what happens? Well, we vent. Some do this is healthier ways than others, but we still do it. Some take the time to let it roll off their shoulders. Some go to Facebook and Twitter and rant. Some sling insults. Some fight. But this is still creation. We create a positive bubble so that person doesn’t wreck their day. We create words to tell our Social network friends and followers why we are upset. We create the best insults possible to let the other person (or social media) know what we think of them. For some, slinging insults can even become a profession (Comedians, certain rappers, etc.). Even the fighters are creating. They create the outlet they need to release the anger/stress/sadness that needs to be released. (On a personal note, I’ve always looked at fighting as a barbaric sort of art form, a violent dance if you will.)
Then we have the wars within ourselves. When we are unhappy with an aspect of ourselves, we either choose to live with it or we choose to change it. It’s simple. The process is not always simple, but choosing to change or not change is that simple. Every time we choose to change or not to change, we are creating the person we are or will become. When we make positive changes, we are creating a more positive us, or at the very least a more positive opinion of ourselves. When we do nothing, we are still creating ourselves. It might not be the person we want to be, but we are nonetheless creating ourselves.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi