For a quick win, they forwent the long-term benefits; they broke the historic allies and treaties that were meant to keep peace and order in the world. This is the beginning of the Great War as much as the beginning of the Great Pandemic.
Precisely to prevent someone to take the quick win, or the short-cut that would harm the overall interests, people set up collaborations of all kind: ‘if you do this, we do that.’ Such as at the beginning of the Great War: ‘if you attack Belgium, we will come to the rescue.’ This just made it less likely that someone would attack Belgium. Not for the sake of Belgium, but because of the consequences of breaking the international treaty.
Speak Up or Remain Silent
Obviously, these treaties only are efficient if the consequence of taking the short-cut is big enough, and if the treaties are respected. For instance, after the first SARS-epidemic, the World Health Organisation told China to speak up next time when a virus would arise. They did not, and the rest is history.
Therefore, to counter the ripple effects of single actions on the globalised world order, we need efficient allies, treaties and other ways of cooperation more than ever. From families, to organisations, from communities to nations. We don’t operate and live in a vacuum, in contrary our actions do impact the world we live in. For the good and the bad.
We don’t operate and live in a vacuum, in contrary our actions do impact the world we live in.
No More War
The Great War lasted four years; moreover, it took them only two decades before the Second World War exploded. After the atrocities of both wars, all parties, all countries, all civilians and militaries had only one demand ‘No More War’.
To maintain the peace and order, they set up several institutions and declarations, and even international courts to make sure the international rules were lived upon. They reaffirmed and established respectively old and new allies to maintain the peace and facilitate growth. They stood together to create the new world; while they stood together to protect the fragile newborn peace.
They stood together to protect the fragile newborn peace.
‘I could never forget’
Back to 2020, at the eve of Covid-19 western countries seem to have forget the efforts and sacrifices of their ancestors. Emblematic is the disappearance of the last generation of soldiers of the great War.
I remember the stories my grandfather told about the war, the second world war, the tears in his eyes, the memories still alive, regardless the number of decades that had passed since.
One rainy afternoon, he told about how the Germans were standing on a bridge, pointing their guns at whoever passed underneath it. The civilians. My grandfather with his siblings and parents. Innocent families on the move in their own country. Tears welled up. His voice jumped. My grandmother watched worried; while we held our breath.
After a short silence, he concluded the story without adding much details: ‘I will never forget’. A confirming glaze in his eyes. We could not see what he was seeing, but we could see the memories were vividly alive, repeated on the screen of his tears.
The memories were vividly alive, repeated on the screen of his tears.
Joining the Battle Fields
My grandfather passed away two years ago, and so did many of his comrades. The last generation that still lives the World Wars through their memories is leaving our world; joining the comrades they lost in the battle fields.
To prevent them to take all memories with them, we have to keep the memory alive. Not to mourn on the deaths and the atrocities, but not to make the same mistakes. To take the lessons with us. Not to be stuck in the past, but to create a better future.
And in that future, we cannot stand alone; we cannot neglect the importance of allies, of treaties, of collaboration. Collaboration between our housemates, families, neighbours, communities, and even broader within and between our countries to cope with this Great Pandemic, as our ancestors did to cope with the Great War.
If we want to stand up and say ‘No More Pandemic’ in resonance to ‘No More War’, we have to follow their legacy and stuck our hands together: stand together or stand not at all.
‘No More Pandemic’ in resonance to ‘No More War’
Tomorrow I show you another wisdom of the Great War with regards to the Great Pandemic, probably even the most tangible one you’ll need to keep on going.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breate taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.