Thursday, 8 September 2011
I've realised what it is! There's more than one Thursday in a week. I knew there was a reason it comes around so quickly. I knew that it hasn't been a week since I did a Thankful Thursday post.
I have been conscious that my TT posts have mostly, possibly entirely, been selfish in that they've been why I've been thankful in my own small world. Having given it some thought I realise, of course, that this post is about why I am thankful and not why anyone else is thankful. However I have just been thinking about Christchurch and also about a film of 9/11 which has just been drawn to my attention on Facebook by Fiona.
In the past I have mentioned that it was estimated that over 100 million people lost their lives in conflicts in the last century. I happened to read yesterday that the estimate was about 160 million and I know I used a number in a comment on a blog recently - a number I thought was over 200 million. Anyway the point is that due to war and genocide a significant percentage of the world's population (over 10% whatever the actual figure) were killed by one means or another in conflicts of one sort or another during the 20th century.
If, however, you ask many people in the countries where this Blog is being read who are younger than, say, 60 or even 65 and who are not members of the armed forces, what it is like to experience war at first hand, then I suspect you will find the answer is 'very few indeed'. Few if any of us have had to go to war on our own soil to protect our own countries. Few (outside Northern Ireland) have experienced the war of terrorism even though it was brought onto the mainland of the UK.
Despite that millions of people are still dying in the world as a result of conflicts but unless a the war is brought onto our own soil by terrorism and despite the everyday (or perhaps because it is every day) wars shown on the television news we remain aloof from the turmoil. Until something like 9/11 brings it into our own country. It is very interesting to hear some of the less 'significant' comments in the YouTube video I mentioned in the second paragraph.
Today I am thankful - unashamedly so - for the fact that the great majority of us alive today in the countries where this Blog is most read have not experienced war.
Caveat: I appreciate that there is at least one follower of this Blog (Mersad) from Sarajevo who may have memories of war on his soil and who will have a greater understanding of conflict than most of us.