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Well, here we are as human beings with yet another war in our world.

John Steinbeck, the American author wrote, “All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

Let’s take a look at three ways we fail in our thinking and continue to cause wars. In this video, I will share with you how we engage in:

– moralistic judgments,
– enemy images, and
– being against (or being “anti”).

We’ll also look at ways we can change our thinking in order realize our potential for compassion, understanding, and peace.


Well, here we are as human beings with yet another war in our world.

John Steinbeck, the American author wrote, “All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

I’m Doyle Banks. I’m a personal and professional transformation coach and educator. And I invite you to spend a few minutes with me here and let’s think together about how we think and what are the ways that we, as human beings, keep thinking that keeps perpetuating war. And then let’s ask ourselves and think about, are there other ways that we can think that could create a different kind of world, a world of peace, a world without war?

As I’ve been thinking about our [world] situation over the past week, I’ve come to understand three ways that we miss the mark or that we make mistakes in our thinking that can end up resulting in war. One is through moralistic judgment thinking. Another is through enemy image thinking. And thirdly, there’s being against, or being “anti-” thinking.

Marshall Rosenberg, the author of the book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, as he did his study of human behavior, came to understand that when we get angry, we tend to resort to moralistic judgements, moralistic thinking. And that sets us up then for things like good/bad, right/wrong, and “so-and-so deserves to be punished,” “so-and-so deserves violent words or actions to bring them into line, to make them toe the line, or to make them change to our liking”.

He wrote these words, he said, “I would like to suggest that killing people is too superficial, killing, hitting, blaming, hurting others, whether physically or emotionally are all superficial expressions of what is going on within us. When we are angry, if we are truly angry, we would want a much more peaceful way to express our anger.

Think about it for a minute.

What would it be like if we could sit down with each other when we’re angry and rather than resorting to moralistic judgements and then to violence and to killing one another and declaring war on each other, we could really listen to each other at the level of what Marshall called “Universal Human Needs”? And in seeing, hearing, and understanding one anothers needs, we could realize our potential for compassion for ourselves and each other, and then work together, create connection and work together from that place of compassion, cooperation, harmony?

What a different world that could be!

Secondly then, there’s the idea of enemy images. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had lots of occasions in my life where I’ve created enemy images in my heart and mind of various people, individuals, and groups and so on. Even of myself!

The best example I can think of where that idea was thrown out and something different put in its place was in the work that Mohandas K. Gandhi and the people of India did to bring about a peaceful transition of power and the British relinquishing their rule over the people of India.

Gandhi taught himself and practiced and taught those who worked with him to remove enemy images from their hearts and minds so that they could see the British as equals and meet them on equal footing. He realized that as long as he held an enemy image of the British or anyone else, there would always be that power differential, that power-over dynamic, and that there would only be violence as the way to try to resolve it. He held out hope and he was very disciplined in holding onto this idea of no enemy image. He called it ahimsa was the word that he used. Ahimsa: no enemy image.

And as we know from history, the British saw that they were indeed doing more harm to themselves than they were to the people of India. And they realized, “You know, it’s time to bring this to an end.” And they brought it to a peaceful and honorable end for everyone.

Thirdly, there’s the thinking of being against, being “anti-”.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst said, “What we resist persists”.

I don’t know about you, but we can see this even just in the context of our own individual lives. When there have been times that I have wanted to end a bad habit, an unhealthy habit and replace it with a healthy habit. I’ve come up against lots of resistance, whether it was my love of sweets, or food, or whatever it might have been. When I was trying to get myself in shape, there was lots of resistance.

“What we

C.G. Jung

And it’s the same way in our relationships. Maybe, in your significant other relationship you’ve tried to make some changes in your couple, in how you do your relationship. Maybe you’ve run into resistance from your partner? Or, if they’ve wanted to make some changes, maybe you found yourself being resistant?

So you get the idea. And of course, then this happens with between nations and we see it happening again yet again today. Whenever we resist, whatever we resist is going to persist.

Mother Teresa understood this. She was asked once “…why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations? I said that I will never do that. But as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” So she understood that resisting war would just end up in more war.

Edwin Starr, the 1970s Motown musician, singer, and songwriter wrote the famous song “War”. And in it, he penned the lines,

“War! What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.
War! It ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker.
War! It got one friend, it’s the undertaker.”


He saw clearly that war would never put an end to war. Hatred would never put an end to hatred. And he understood that love was the way, compassion was the way.

So coming back to John Steinbeck, he understood that we fall down. We fail as thinking animals when we resort to war and Yoko Ono understood this as well. She penned the words in the famous song, “Imagine”,

You may think that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world can be as one.

I’ll admit I’m a child of the sixties. I still have some naivete that world peace could be realized in my lifetime. Well, maybe I don’t have quite so much naivete exactly like that, but I do hold out hope that we, as human beings could rise up to our full potential and make a peaceful world a reality. So, will you join me? Will you look into your own heart and mind and see where maybe you are making moralistic judgements, or holding an enemy image, or being “anti-“ something or someone, and do some work around that?

If you need it, get some help, you know, from a friend, therapist, spiritual guide, or a coach and work on cleaning some of that out of your energy and your being. And recreate yourself as an embodiment of peace and harmony. And then let’s teach each other what we know about that. Let’s share our wisdom and see how far we can get in bringing the world to a place of peace, of understanding, compassion, cooperation, and harmony, again.

I thank you so much for your kind attention, for joining me on the this video.

Please share your thoughts about this. We need to help each other. We need to be talking and sharing, to get with each other, to encourage one another, support one another, and help one another to create different ways, healthier ways, more loving and peaceful ways of looking at situations where we have differences and conflicts coming up, with different ways to resolve those things rather than violence and war.

I believe that we can do it. I believe in myself. I believe in you. I believe in us and our power to make this happen.

I wish you Peace and Joy.

I send you my love in all sincerity.

And I look forward to being with you again soon, in another video.

Please take good care of yourself. Take care of your loved ones and let’s make the world a peaceful place.

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