The war to end all wars.
One of my roles in school is teaching Yr 9 History and this week is of particular significance as the teaching of the events around and within World War One intersects with society stopping for two minutes on the 11/11 to reflect on the loss of life and the impact of not just that conflict but those following it. ‘The war to end all wars’ sounds particularly hollow these days and when I was school age I was adamantly pacifist in my outlook. These days I am far more aware of the pressures and complexities involved with taking up arms but still weep (sometimes literally) at man’s seeming inability to move beyond the rush towards conflict as a way of ‘advancing’ an ethos or societal goal.
Remembrance events make me both angry and despondent. As a school it is a formalised thing that has to be ‘policed’ in order to ensure correct behaviour and that is also missing the point in my eyes. Contemplation of the loss of life through conflict should be a daily occurrence, particularly for those in positions of power, as it is only through recognising the abhorrence of war that we, as a species, can move past its seeming inevitability in so many situations.
So on Thursday and probably Sunday too I’ll find a quiet corner and amongst other things thank my lucky stars that I was born in the sixties not at the turn of the century and every lesson I teach I will try ever harder to communicate to my students the common humanity of us all as we stare at the haunted faces in our textbooks and learn of the horrors we humans have visited on each other.
There’s a danger in me disappearing into a fog of melancholy so I determined that the choices this week should be all upbeat. Some Westerberg, Dawes and then the stonkin’ Blood Sweat and Tears
I feel better now! Take what you need or want.