When the truth, as we know it, is rocked to the core by an experience we are called to do some soul searching. This is what happened to me yesterday as I visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan. As I stood on ground zero for the first deployment of a nuclear weapon in the history of mankind, I looked around. As far as I could determine I was the only American in sight. My guide, a lovely Japanese woman about my age, was telling me about the events of August 6, 1945. Many of the things she said conformed to what I had learned in America. The technical issues matched, but he effects of the bomb came from an entirely different perspective; the perspective of those who had lived through the bombing.
At one moment I had in my head what my father, who was, at the time, a Marine engaged in the battles on Okinawa, might have thought about dropping “Little Boy” on the “enemy”, in the next moment I was immersed in the reality of the people whose country had been bombed. There is no way to justify these two streams of thought. As I expressed my feelings later in the evening to a close Japanese friend, she thanked me for taking time to visit the memorial. Again, a totally different perspective than what I might have imagined.
My realization, and my work from this moment forward to is be even more aware of believing what I believe to be the truth. Is it your truth? Is it my truth? What if we are both wrong? The saying “don’t believe everything you think” comes to mind here. When we become so invested in what we know to be the truth that we cannot hear what others think we are no longer in control of our lives, we are being dogmatic.
Without hesitation I learned one thing clearly; we, as the people of planet earth, can never again allow the deployment of a nuclear weapon, for any reason.