The Lasting Peace
Day after day, each animal wakes up to wage a battle.
In my little kingdom bordered by three neighbors and a residential street, the first siren blares at 4:45 in the morning. Stirred but not yet aroused, my husband fought hard to get out of the warm bed. The enemies are already lined up for him. Each time he attempts to raise his head up, the pull of gravity yanks it back down on the soft pillow. Before he can open the garage, he knows he has to lure the dog inside, not with negotiations, but with some coercions and dirty tricks. As he merges onto the 57 Freeway heading south, his blood pressure shots up; he alternates his right foot between the gas and brake pedals, fighting the slow moving traffic.
Back at home, my private battles are not less intense. My high schooler, indifferent to the range of live ammunition I aim at him every few minutes, stays buried under a pile of blankets and refuses to get out of bed for the much-needed shower. I would not back down and continue to attack his seemingly dead body: sprinkling water on his face through his breathing hole, flipping on the light, and bellowing like a cow engorged with milk. I am, each morning, a general without a single follower. My war is the war of the wills in which the opposing sides exert his mental power to wage, "One shall" and counter-wage, "One shall not."
Even the lowly dog carries his tail like a high-flying flag and demands each day to be given his fair share of food and entertainment.
Day after day, the community of animals reconvenes at the end of a fighting day for some rest; a temporary truce only for the opposing parties to re-energize, recuperate, re-strategize. Then the cycle begins anew.
The lasting peace will only come when the animals cease to be living organisms. Even then, the law of entropy will still govern to promote chaos, perpetuating the frenetic dance of atoms.
The real Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to each valiant fighter, who contents not with Peace, but with Progress: to cohabit without infringing, to promote without depriving, to profit without defrauding, to defend without killing. The real Nobel Prize for Peace should be awarded to each individual who agrees to take only a piece from the universal cake, just enough to keep his private battles going, no more, no less.