Community member Michael Karassowitsch wrote this in response to Sebastian Junger’s TED Talk, Why veterans miss war:
“The issue of this talk is, for me, strangely, of soldiers as much as of the malaise of our cultures. Of course the pain and damage to the one in battle is the deep concern. But the warrior goes into the war that the hatred and ignorance of our societies produce, including the poverty that makes war a way of life for many, and may come out knowing what love is. The last part of this talk defines this so well, it is brilliant! That soldier, the warrior, comes home like a messenger. In our cultures, we do not take care of them well enough.
In fact, I feel that enough of us already have that love in us, and that what we need to do is to create more situations in the world that bring it out. Junger says that those men who know that feeling so well, who pine for it in fact, are left high and dry in the so-called normal world. We talk of PTSD, but it is clearly far more nuanced than that, if you take into account what he is saying.
The most powerful question is then for me of how to lower the threshold for people to realize what Sebastian Junger is expressing, with less than combat situations. We need to create a culture, still within society in less than a war disaster, for people to realize this love. How can we bring this experience, this part of it to spread in the world? I know that meditation in large groups (satsangh) can do it. Or at least can bring it out. There is too little place, apparently, for that to be a regular part of every day. That is, in my opinion, the work every person who understands this talk is bound to take up as the main work of their life. If you know that love, if you get it, then you have a duty. If we withhold the according action when a moment arises to be a brother or sister, we are purposefully destroying our brothers and sisters. Truthfully, it seems in reality that black and white, like war.”
— Michael Karassowitsch
We’re always on the lookout for sharp critique, thought-provoking questions or interesting insights in response to TED Talks. Post your thoughts alongside any talk; we read them all and will feature one comment on ideas.TED.com each weekday. (Comments are lightly edited for spelling and grammar.)