Endy writes on politics, political myths and social issues. Life goal: To become a Strategist
Wars are Never Won
Today, I want to share with you a story, my childhood experience, and how that will forever change my view of strength and weakness. This referred experience did not only change my understanding of strengths and weaknesses, but it also taught me a lesson about diplomacy. When I mean diplomacy, I mean serious cost-benefit analysis.
Before I go deep into this essay, I wish to state that I condemn Vladimir Putin’s military action against Ukraine. Even though I share some of his fears and sentiments, putting myself in his shoes. Events had compelled me to believe that his hands are tied, and his ambitions are large.
Father-Son: The Role of a Mother's Strategy
Asked by a shocked bystander how he could do this, Lincoln said, "Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
Growing up, I had faced with the anger of a strong-willed dad. Mind you, my dad was a good man, and if I could choose who would father me in the next world, I would choose him.
As good as my dad was, there were times he was vulnerable and committed human errors. Having gone through an educational transformation through the years. I can say, “He was being human in those times” And should I say, as I had often written, “We all were human before we were anything else.”
One morning, I woke up to a bad day. I have known my dad to be a person of reason—compassionate and intentional about parenting. But this particular morning was one of the moments in my growing up when I thought my dad had not been rational enough. That was just a sentiment—a personal sentiment of someone who feels unjustly treated.
I woke up that morning, unhung my ‘gabardine’ trousers, slipped in my legs and pulled the trousers up to my waist. I needed a little flexibility which I could not get from a full-length trouser, so I rolled the cuffs up to my tight and freed the undersides. That made the trouser look like a short. That was my exact intention, and I cannot blame my dad for actually thinking I had cut my trouser.
As you must know, it was the new trousers he had bought for my Christmas celebration. We were still within that Christmas season. I think it would have been irresponsible of me if I had truly cut the trouser. But I did not cut my trousers. What I did was a manoeuvre to make it look like a short.
My dad, I know, would give me a chance to explain myself. By a chance, I mean, he would ask me if I had cut my trouser. But he did not do that.
He quickly went to a nearby bush and got a Cain. He was coming toward me. I stood looking at him, hoping I would have a chance to explain myself as it had always been. Unfortunately, he did not give me that chance. He descended on me as rain upon the earth. Each stroke sparks like lightning and thunder like a gun powder.
I stood there fuming in anger and dismay. The fact that dad did not ask angered me. So, I decided I would not accord him that respect of running away.
Dad was a tough guy. And I, a tough son of a tough guy, so I thought. I did not move an inch. The Cain splashed on me one stroke at a time until nothing was left. I stood where without moving an inch. He got a second Cain, a third and a fourth. There was nothing left of all the four Cains except the stock. My mum was looking at me and smiling inaccurately. I thought mum was perhaps enjoying the fight between a tough father and a tough son. But as I later learnt, she was laughing at my naivety.
Dad was on his way going to get the fifth Cain when mum said to me, “Are you a fool? He had been beating you, you are not replying, and you would not run away?”
At that instant, I imagined how many more Cain my dad could get from the bush surrounded settlement. I knew it would be countless. I immediately realized my dad could rather see me dead than had me stand alive in front of him like a dried stick. It was a challenge to his authority.
I took to my heels, and my dad started laughing as I ran away. He satisfied his ego. All he wanted was respect. At least, even if I would have to explain, I should have respected him first. I was angry, ashamed and felt defeated. I tried to get back at him immediately by going into hiding. I thought they could suffer to look for me. I woke up from my sleep to discover I was ‘naked.’ They found me out, even before I woke up from my sleep.
That was my story.
Why Do We Fight?
The desire to be free is the only reason we fight. And even when we are free, we still feel there is an invisible enemy somewhere--that sentiment alone--is the greatest bondage and the undoing of humanity
— Endurance AUF Noble, March 1st 2022
The Russia-Ukraine Scenario
The events between my dad and I look very much like the Russia-Ukraine situation. The main difference between my story and the Russia-Ukraine crisis that I could see is the role the rest of us are playing in the crisis.
In my story, my dad was the aggressor. Indeed, he was. My action of not applying diplomacy further fueled his anger and aggressor toward me. I wanted to show him I was the tough cob of the lion. Maybe, I should have stood my ground, what do you think?
Well, if I did, I would doubt if I would be here to write this story today.
My mum, perhaps, knew my dad was wrong. She did not just in, to encourage and supply me with Cain to fight back. She did not sanction. She did not say, dad won't eat food that night. Mum, simply put, borrowed me a pearl of wisdom. I think that was diplomacy.
The only clear thing from day 1 of this conflict was the need to apply diplomacy. But the rest of us, instead of approaching the situation cautiously, had been busy flaming the anger of the aggressor. It was outrage after outrage after outrage. All targeted toward the aggressor without even a tiny remark or consideration for his fears and sentiment. These continuous outrages are how wars escalate.
Those who do not support the outrage or sanctions face bullying into a quiet corner. The world does not run on one-sided narratives. I got slammed on one of my Facebook posts. “You are a big fool” a Facebook friend commented. To avoid a war of words, I just replied to him, “Yes, sir!” That in some way ended his word missile.
Points to Take and Apply
Here are a few suggestion for all of us
- Dear Vladimir Putin, Commander of the Russian Army, please have mercy on us, our friends in Ukraine and our children. I felt your security concerns are genuine but not enough to warrant military actions. Ukraine is your brother-country and neighbour. Ukrainians are your brothers. In fact, from what I have read, she is just a younger brother exhibiting youthful exuberance. Whatever your anger, please have mercy and call home your soldier. We will pressure the United Nations to do the needful.
- Dear US, NATO and the rest of the world, two wrongs we know do not make a right. We can name-call, sanction or supply arms and ammunition. These actions will not save lives. It will only aggravate the situation and make matters worse. Whether we stand with Ukraine or Russia, we are not dying with them. We are not even willing to be hungry a day for their sake. Please, relax the outrage, the arms supplies and the sanctions. All these aggressive actions are only serving to make the aggressors mad.
- Dear Volodymyr Zelenskyy. You are a brave man. I have fallen in love with your courage and your leadership. At this point, the greatest act of bravery will be to save all of your countrymen-all those still left alive and standing for your country. Maybe an appealing call put across to Putin at this hour could save the remains of your country. Remember, all those giving you the gifts of arms will not fight with you. They will not help you to rebuild your country. The love of country also involves a trade-off of personal ego. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan also shows us a weak but powerful path to avert bloodshed. It is not too late. You can walk that path now.
- Dear Media, you help to spin things out of control. Please roll life back to normal. I understand you earn your living from hype and hysteria. Please use your power to save lives and our world.
Is this where we go next?
Our Collective Fate
One man cannot determine the fate of humanity. But we can let one man determine our fate by the choices we make, the role we play. We should not be crusaders of war, or fuel the anger of those who chose it. We can apply wisdom to turn away this wrath.
To end this essay, I want to ask a fundamental question. From Putin’s posture, he could go nuclear if that's what it takes to satisfy his ego. Can the rest of us afford to die for our ego? If we can! We might be heading for it. But if we cannot afford to die for one man's ego, then it is time we make Putin feel good and safe in our world.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Ajodo Endurance Uneojo