The sun smiles on a playground. From far away we hear the uplifting laughter of children; melodies and harmonies and symphonies of which we were once all a part. We draw nearer. We hear a minority of children singing out of tune …and we remember. The playground, though wonderful, is a war zone of sorts. It is the breeding ground for a war between confused individuals. What do we fight this war with? As children we are believed to be weapon less. We don't have bazookas strapped to our bodies. We don't have access to the real causers of crime. Some throw rocks, the foolish fight with the tangible. Yet most adolescent's weapons are far more hidden and far more powerful. When we were on the playground our guns were the fingers we pointed at others. The bullets that flew were our words. The casualties that were taken were parts of our dignity. Welcome to the war we all have known.

Sadly, this is just the beginning. It is pessimistic to say that this whole life is a war, but it can be, often, unless we choose to make ourselves exempt. As we grow we continue to point the finger, divert the attention from our own flaws as bullets fly (often to our own surprise). Bullets are shot at us so we shoot bullets right back: "She's ugly, fat!! (Other people are flawed, just like me)". When our dignity is taken hold of by an opposing force we use our own verbal bullets to return it to its desired location (and take some of the dignity of our enemies hostage). This war wanders through our work places, poses threat in our parks, crusades through our cinemas. It is everywhere.

The war we've all known parallels the 'real' controversies which take real lives. In these battles men fight back because they feel as if the enemy deserve to die (not realizing that their own previous actions caused the 'enemies' to load their guns). The war we've all known is like an actual publicized war because it starts with one pointing finger, and then causes a vicious cycle. In the war that we've all known we fought for our dignity, for respect. In publicized wars our soldiers fight for their dignity, for respect. The technicalities may differentiate these wars from each other, different bullets, different weapons, different levels of seriousness attached. But the broad motives involved do not differ, and the reasons for continuance of the fighting do not either. The people whose bloody, angry faces flash on the news are us, not monsters, us, with the same basic instincts and inclinations. Those of us uninvolved in these publicized controversies claim to be anti-war, peace loving humanitarians…but there is not one person who hasn't partook in the war we've all known.

What's the peace treaty for this all encompassing battle I speak of? Understanding. Don't you think? If someone makes fun of us or taunts us, takes a verbal shot, we need to understand that they are often just trying to compensate for their own feelings of inadequacy. To fight back is to load a gun. To step back and attempt to understand is to sign a peace treaty, to be the bigger person. I see wars being fought everyday, over the most trivial things. It would be nice if we could just respect each other to begin with, but that's a huge favour to ask of mankind. I know that I am not exempt from this war, though I try to be. And that's all that we can do, try. Try to remain uninvolved, try to understand, try to be that individual on this massive playground, sharing stickers and snacks, listening to everyone, laughing and loving daily. The war we've all known will always try to enlist us, let it try, let it fight, let us win.