Today is Remembrance Day. Even when the world is at peace, when we have through efforts of compassion, consociation and culture all but stopped killing one another, we must never forget the millions who have died by such violence. When we defeat institutional violence in world culture, and I honestly believe we will, we will not have defeated our natures. We will not have defeated our implicit capacity for such violence. If for no other reason, that is why we must never forget the casualties of our nature.
If you feel that the proposition that violence is decreasing is crazy, or even believe as many do that our world is getting more violent and unstable even now, I highly recommend Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and its Causes, 2011. There is no guarantee of course that horrific world wide violence will never occur again, but there are real long-term signs that it is slowly disappearing, and this should be a source of hope and inspiration. Let's not let the chance go by.
Anyway, here's to all the victims of our own violent tribal natures. May we never forget the child-soldier cannon fodder, the holocaust victims and the innocents starved, displaced and broken, as well as the uniformed soldiers, of every country and tribe. If nothing else their sacrifice throughout history (and ongoing) is witness to our natures; natures which every one of us for all time most own and understand precisely that we may overcome them by our better angels of empathy, understanding and mutualism. We are all killers as much as every cat and dog, unless and until, by the grace of unfolding reality (Everything) as well as our own determination, we are not. May Everything help us get there.