War Is For Grownups

[Warning: fiction ahead]  I have bad news.  Pining for one big happy united world doesn’t work. Just think of all the people we know or hear about that we would not want to be in the same room with let alone share a meal with. That makes a hefty percentage out of the seven billion people that are around. Just step outside our little bubble and that’s clear. At best, you and I might feel at one with several million or so. Well if Earthlings cannot be one big happy seven-billion-member family then much less can we become one big happy united Universe. You see there are whole worlds operating on premises more alienating to me than who belongs to the wrong political party.

It just so happens I stopped in one such goofy planet  called Peaceland that made me curious in spite of myself. They have a way to keep war at a minimum, but by means most Earthlings would find unpalatable. Like many places on Earth, the inhabitants have a life-span of approximately seventy to ninety years. But no one may join the military until they are at least sixty years of age. I know this because my tour guide Buroh explained this to me when I remarked how peaceful their planet is. The creature said, “This policy has many benefits. Top on the list of course is that wars are infrequent and short. Old people don’t have much stamina for prolonged conflict. They want to get back to taking it easy. And even if someone were to egg them on to fight for one reason or another,  the perspective of their years often keeps them from starting up wars in the first place. Another great thing is that if a war is under way, either training for war or in extreme cases going to fight, the ancients have something to do once they retire. You do not find bored seniors here!  And best of all when our people are young and most fit, they apply all that energy to their occupations and family life instead of wasting it on wounding and killing. On Earth,  I just can’t relate to how you risk  wasting citizen resources when they are at their most valuable. How can you all be so inefficient?  Doesn’t it make more sense to let the young live decades more whereas an old person has already given their best years and risks losing at most about ten years of life?”

No doubt their way of life on Peaceland has its charms, but I was too polite to say to my guide that I would be hard put to find an Earthling who would be fine with letting the elderly endure the physical and mental strain of say, driving a tank over bumpy terrain in humid weather. Besides, we like to get bad things over with in our lives and look forward to taking it easy as we wrap things up.  A united Universe? What were we thinking?

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If you like this whimsical sort of satire blended with science fiction, then you might like my gentle sci-fi book, Curiosity Seekers, about an endearing old-fashioned couple in the future who sometimes has trouble feeling united with each other let alone with the larger society. See reviews and a free chapter on Amazon. It is available on Kindle and as a paperback and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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