I have known Sigi Kunz for more than 45 years.
I am happy to be his friend.
I appreciate his qualities (not only) as a manager and entrepreneurial leader. When I invited him to attend our activities for PEACE, he replied as follows, at the same time giving his permission to publish his message.
It is about time that I, as a newcomer to this round, also say something. First and foremost, I want to thank Roland for seeing me as a potential candidate for a) being interested in the topic and b) perhaps being able to contribute, at least to a small degree.
Having been a stubborn “conscientious objector” – that is what they called us in the 1970ies – the word PEACE was almost exclusively the complete opposite of WAR in my definition. PEACE was a hundred per cent different from WAR.
As time goes by, you become more mature, you learn to differentiate more clearly and you also learn that other nuances and values may lurk behind an abstract term. For instance, I totally agree with what Roland wrote in his last blog entry: that PEACE has to begin with yourself, that, first and foremost, you have to (learn how to) live in peace with yourself. At the same time, it is extremely important to also find ways to live in PEACE with nature.
Perhaps I misinterpreted Roland’s post of October, 1st, because it seemed to me like it contained a huge portion of resignation. I was probably wrong – which is what I sincerely hope.
Why is that what I hope?
As a general rule, my personality is characterized by optimism. Regardless, I sometimes fight an internal battle with myself asking the question if the species homo sapiens will, to put it bluntly, manage to get its act together.
Being an admirer of both Darwin and Dawkins, I “believe” in the evidence shown by evolution. And the unhappy truth I read there suggests that non-peace is more the rule than anything else in living nature. To eat and be eaten, the chain of nutrition, population mechanisms controlled by the supply of food – a propos bread for all, etc. Peace always only works for a short time and is limited to clearly defined groups.
Consequently, I fear that a huge part of the human race is trapped in the echo of evolution that says it is more goal-oriented for your own progress to kill all competition and to fight, if necessary with weapons, rather than living together in peaceful harmony.
Perhaps – and here is where my optimism kicks in – we are now in a phase where evolution is just on the threshold of “deciding” whether the strategy “fighting” will be beaten by the strategy “peace”.
You could compare it to the “nasty” entropy. Decades ago, during a physics lecture when I was an electrical engineering student, I came up with the idea that life might be the enemy of entropy, because living creatures alone really create order. In other words:
Ever since the big bang, chaos grew until the first living creatures appeared. Since then, they have been trying to fight chaos.
Well, this is enough of those ideas.
What is it I could or would wish to contribute to the topic peace? Here is an example where I have been actively involved for several years:
The club Hohenlinden 2000
The club was founded in 1996 and aims at
- Keeping the memory of the terrible military battle alive and
- Making use of said memory in order to promote PEACE with the erstwhile enemy (France) through shared projects and activities, along with developing and nourishing friendships.
Here is a poem that was written by the French historian Gérard Leser for memorial day.
At the end of the ceremony, he read the poem. It has been composed in two languages and calls for peace. It can also be read on a central cylinder at the base of the memorial.
Here is the German version:
Blick in die Weite und das große Atmen der Welt
Ruhe der Berge und der Natur
dunkelgrüner Mantel der Wälder und der Wiesen
unten Dörfer die gedeihen
die Stille die uns bewohnt
vor hundert Jahren
Staub, Krach, hunderte von Granaten die explodieren
Wunden die bluten
Kugeln die zischen
Bajonette die in der Sonne glitzern
und der Hass und der Tod die herrschen
nur noch den anderen Menschen umbringen
alle Teufel sind los
Franzosen gegen Deutsche
Deutschland gegen Frankreich
Menschen gegen Menschen
und die Bevölkerung die flüchten muss
alles verlassen, alles verlieren
Häuser die verkohlen
Ruinen, Tränen und Elend ohne Ende
1915 Sieg und Zerstörung
Stille der Friedhöfe
das Tal durch die Front entzweit
öde Mauern und verwüstete Dörfer
Stacheldraht der überall blüht
tiefe Schützengraben verwunden die Erde
2015 Europa, endlich
Frieden und Versöhnung
ein Denkmal zum Nachdenken
zwei Panzerschienen, zwei Armeen
ein kleiner Pfahl, die Bevölkerung die leidet
Menschheit mit Schmerz erfüllt
ein Pfeiler mit der Spitze die am Himmel glitzert
um gemeinsam die Hoffnung zu pflegen
um das Gedächtnis zu wecken
um Brücken zu bauen
um über die Freiheit zu wachen
um die Gewalt in uns zu zähmen
um die Finsternis im Herzen nie zu vergessen
und das Leben zu ehren
Europa ist unsere gemeinsame Heimat
I close my letter and wish you all a beautiful weekend.
The owner of the photos is Sigi Kunz, you can use them under CC BY-SA 3.0.
(Translated by EG)