The Great War Quotes That Will Get You Thinking of Love
In his world-famous novel, War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy writes “You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.”
Not exactly what you would expect among the great war quotes of our time. Nevertheless, remembering these words of wisdom, I found myself reflecting on how the message they illustrate ties in with our modern perception of love and war.
The Bible – a source of inspiration or obsolete mumbo jumbo?
The war between those supporting and those rejecting the Bible as ‘the word of God’ will perhaps never end. It only takes a quick look into our world’s current events to realize that there are some important issues that need resolving. Nonetheless, when you think about it, you will notice that there was no time in history without some sort of conflict. Sure, there were times of peace and times of war. Both had both positive and negative effects on humanity. However, what drives every species forward is, in fact, the opposite of what we desire. For example, a lack of freedom gives birth to thoughts of independence, which will, in turn, eventually materialize into actions. These actions will bring forth change. Moreover, these shifts will take place at larger and larger scales, until the initial need or want has been achieved.
And, most importantly, new desires are born, which follow the same pattern. Like a spiral, humanity keeps evolving, and history keeps advancing as well.
Among the huge array of Bible quotes about war, more or less known, we have all heard of the words “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44. Going back to Tolstoy’s work, it is clear to see that it all contains great inspiration from the Bible. And in both cases the message is clear and profound: it’s easy to love something lovable, but it takes great strength of character to truly love something unwanted. Herein lies the challenge and also the fantastic rewards of love.
Exploring great war quotes of times past
The way I see it is the most important lessons we can learn from all the great war quotes uttered by our forefathers are actually about love, peace and caring for others.
We are all aware of the distinguished image that respectable soldiers, generals, and other ranked heroes display.
Patriotism and pride are the pillars of their confidence. Additionally, meaningful words like those of Thomas Merton are also born from experiencing the contrast between war and peace. His excellent view is that “Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”
Sophie Kerre makes the bold statement that “If peace only had the music and pageantry of war, there’d be no wars.” This is an interesting point of view, especially when considered alongside Marilyn Ferguson’s thoughts “Everybody knows that love is better than hate, and peace is better than war.”
Defense mechanisms to deal with the underlying effects of war
In the 1930’s, a Soviet infantry manual issued a warning: “Do not touch anything unnecessarily. Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads – they are not there accidentally.” As you can see, these few words are enough to paint a fairly accurate picture of what you can expect in a situation like this. Nevertheless, due to the unexpected nature of it all, and shocking details that are described, the image describe here sounds more like a comic or a caricature rather than a real-life scenario. As a result, a huge array of jokes and humorous anecdotes were created, all centered around war and life in the military.
Sarcastic remarks, such as “We kill people who kill people because killing people is wrong.” should get us thinking as well. They are also a result of the experience. However, these quotes are usually over-simplified in order to bring out the main point that killing is wrong, even though we all know it is never as simple as that. And because this subject tends to make people uncomfortable, they usually come up with various funny war quotes. Another way which people have found to express their feelings related to the after-effects of war.
These witty remarks all serve a high purpose in the minds of the people who have lived through less than ideal times. This shows the wonderful adaptability of the human soul. In order to alleviate the suffering, humans are always instinctively finding and implementing solutions.
Balance is everything
While famous revolutionary war quotes can inspire a sense of duty and patriotism, the most prevalent emotion related to war is that of sadness. Nonetheless, there is a valuable lesson we can all learn: that of balance.
The value of balance is always evident after experiencing extreme situations, such as war. According to Stefan Zweig “Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life.”
Meir Kahane strengthens the same idea by stating “Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge.” Because the world has many facets and they all serve to enrich it, make it whole and give it a complexity that makes life worth living.
“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” Said Mahatma Gandhi, and he was right. Only by passing on the lessons to the new generations, can we continue the spiral of evolution even further along. Perhaps we will eventually reach a point of perfect harmony. However, “It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.” Martin Luther King Jr. Once we learn how to do that, we will inevitably move on to another stage of expansion.
What we’ve learned so far
These quotes about war and peace can very well remind us of the importance of contrast in our daily lives. They bring to mind the fact that life is an ever-changing occurrence, comprised of numerous experiences that we choose to give positive or negative connotations. Nonetheless, in the end, let’s remember that, as Francois Fenelon puts it, “All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.”