A Hope of Çatalhöyük

Photo of the excavation of Çatalhöyük, humankind's first city.
“Çatalhöyük after the first excavations.” Photo by Omar hoftun CC BY-SA 3.0

For the past many weeks, I’ve been mulling how simply living our daily lives promotes peace as a counter to war. Especially in this interconnected Information Age.

Though Consumerism can be deadly if we let it run away with us, at its basic level the simple act of buying food, enjoying a movie, traveling to visit friends or as tourists, going to work, and so on are acts of civilization, making the destruction of warfare less and less tolerable.

I’m no Pollyanna. I’m fully aware of how much Consumerism actually drives conflict over natural resources, and the killing that results.

But I also see how, for example, Putin’s war on Ukraine has punished Russia, galvanizing the West, prompting the EU to wean itself from fossil fuels, and how much we as citizens identify with the Ukrainian people.

War is increasingly distasteful to civilization.

That very fact that we are at last beginning to acknowledge PTSD in our veterans, compared to a century or two ago, even a generation ago, is another evidence. Such things begin to affect how we as a public make decisions, not the least of which is how we vote.

Again, I’m no Pollyanna. The progress of civilization is dreadfully, agonizingly slow. We humans didn’t even begin it until Çatalhöyük nearly 9,000 years ago. And it has taken these millennia to reach even a glimpse of “global village,” let alone the hope of beating our swords into plowshares.

But we do progress. And I’m thinking simple day-to-day life is perhaps the most impactful act of peace.

At least that is my hope.

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