by Anthony Gregory Madness prevails in the world today, Anthony Gregory says Friday, March 26, 2004 So what else is new? The world has been a mess throughout the whole of history. Only at this very moment in time, with the war in Iraq over but not yet over, with 9/11 still fresh in our minds, with 3/11 even fresher, with bombings and reprisals in the Middle East almost a daily occurrence, and a host of other wars, revolutions, uprisings, and other violence all over the globe, the mess just gets bigger and bigger. I could point a finger, and I often do, but the reality is that I am the cause of it all. And you can read what you like into that "I". I could have smiled at the man with the darker skin; I did not. I could have been magnanimous in defeat when the other side won; I cried 'foul'. I could have spoken civilly to the person who holds views opposed to mine; I just told him, emphatically, that he was wrong. I could have congratulated the person who got what I thought only I deserved; I showed resentment. I could have admitted my faults; I blamed others. Now I am resented; everyone wants to even the score; better, to score one more than I did. But the game is not over, nor ever will be. If they hit back, I can hit harder. We could end up killing each other, but I can't back off; I would lose face. This, in miniature, is the state of the world today. Madness prevails. A madness brought on by an insatiable craving for power. No one person, state, or entity is to blame: we (all the 'I's) are. The story just repeats itself. A power-hungry few oppress, suppress, wage war, rape, maim, kill, massacre, in name of human rights, justice, democracy or religion. Almost invariably, the power-hungry triumph, proving no more than that might is right but solving nothing. The much vaunted human rights become the subject of treaties, charters or resolutions which are never implemented; revenge is wreaked upon the losers, we call it justice; democracy remains an all-purpose word which merely signifies "there are two ways of running a country, my way and the wrong way"; religion is just an over-worked concept discarded by most, while it remains the solace and refuge of the few. It is only the weak who sometimes remind us that God, in any language, under any other name, in any religion, is a God of love: that he wants us to forgive and beg forgiveness, to love others as ourselves. Tired of being trodden upon, ignored, oppressed or considered lower second class, even the weak forget that one of God's commandments is "You shall not kill". No ifs or buts, no qualification of just cause. It is I who have inserted all the qualifications. Love, anyway, is for sissies! I have often heard, and repeated, that war solves nothing. I know that violence begets violence. But does anyone seriously expect me to turn the other cheek? I'll concede this much: if the other side publicly and solemnly vows to abjure violence, and makes reparation, then I may consider a moratorium. But what if (BIG IF) the Is were to suggest: let us meet as equals with the only other precondition being that we each make at least one concession every time we meet? We could even end up saving the world from destruction. Any takers?