Letter: Why do humans act the way we do?

Editor,

Back in the day I well remember wondering why certain factions act the way they do, and have done throughout recorded history. Not only constant conflict in about every part of the globe but often the manner in which we treat our fellow man. There was a protest song from the 60s that some readers might remember. The words are profound and left a lasting impression on me. Aimed at armed strife, but could just as easily be likened to every day living. Joni Mitchell sang it this way —

One Tin Soldier

Listen children to a story that was written long ago

‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain and the valley folk below

On the mountain was a treasured buried deep beneath a stone

And the valley people swore that they’d have it for their very own

Go ahead and hate your neighbour, go ahead and cheat a friend

Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end

There won’t be any trumpets blaring come the judgment day

On the bloody morning after —one tin soldier rides away

So the people of the valley sent a message up the hill

Asking for the buried treasure, tons of gold for which they’d kill

Came an answer from the kingdom “with our brothers we will share

All the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there.”

Now the valley cried with anger — “Mount your horses, draw your swords.”

And they killed the mountain people, so they won their just rewards

And they stood beside the treasure on the mountain dark and red

Turned the stone and looked beneath it —

‘Peace on earth’ was all it said.

Wes Chaulk

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