“Wars and rumours of wars. … For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

It seems that, in the art of peacemaking, this century has learnt very little from the last one. Which is, perhaps, somewhat surprising since, with so many wars taking place in that era and the many millions of deaths that were the result, the peace industry might well have been expected to grow and flourish like no other.

But, perhaps, the lessons have been there all along and it’s only our willingness or ability to properly focus on them that’s been lacking.

It may be considered axiomatic in this day and age that warfare tends to feed upon itself; it is cannibalistic in nature, its need for further expansion and sustenance always demanding excess and never limitation.

So, what might be of great benefit to us all would be the notion of restricting the intake of so voracious an appetite to that of very light rations indeed.

Can such conflicts ever be forced to go on a diet? If they could, then the consequences all round would be of tremendous significance, not only for ourselves but also those to whom we hand on this world in the hope that they can improve on what has often been our all too casual attitude towards it.

But even the very best diet will require volunteers to try it out before it gains acceptance in the wider community. Or, maybe, it could well be in the interests of that ‘wider community’ to volunteer one or two of its membership for the first few trials of any new formulation.

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Postscript: Someone I’ve known for years was recently told to lose weight by her doctor. Otherwise, the wonders of medical science would be quite unable to do anything more for her. She set about losing three stone or thereabouts. That has now made all the difference. And it shows.

The world might likewise be better off if it were to lose a lot of the baggage it’s been carrying around for what must seem like an eternity.