More Pollocks Needed

   Judge Anna von Reitz

Let’s start with the Polish farmer’s answer — “I have ten daughters. You can’t scare me.”

But let’s also admit that being Grandma for the whole world — more than 200 children calling themselves “countries” — is a scary proposition.
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A carpenter views the world in terms of hammer and nails. A doctor views it in terms of disease and health.  A Grandma views it in terms of children.
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As any parent who has had to deal with more than one child at once can confirm, the first thing you notice is what?
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Oh, they are all different.
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The second thing is?
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They all have their own needs.
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The third thing is?
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I don’t have all the answers or talents or materials to fulfill all these needs.
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That pretty much sums up the parent’s dilemma worldwide and at all scales, including being Grandma to the whole world.
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Now, this may sound odd, but I view war as an attention-seeking behavior.
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When I look at history and spin the globe, I see it in terms of erring children trying to get their share.
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Let’s look at the countries that have started the most wars, shall we?  They fall into two groups:  those that are small and embattled and don’t have enough resources, and those that are large and rich in natural resources, but lacking natural borders.
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As representatives of the first group, we have England, Israel, and Japan.  England and Japan are small island nations surrounded by the sea, lacking enough arable ground and other materials to sustain themselves without trade.  Israel is also small and lacking sufficient natural resources, only instead of being surrounded by the sea, it is surrounded by hostile neighbors.  Yikes!
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In the second group, we have the examples of Germany and the Congo in central Africa.  These are relatively large and resource-rich nations, but they have amorphous arbitrary borders and a long history of contracting and expanding like amoebas, causing bloodshed as they do so.
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Often, the neediest children in a family are the oldest, and as a result, they are the most likely to give into attention-seeking behavior, just when the embattled parent is most depending on them.  They also become experts at quid pro quo bargaining.
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“Ah, Mom, I helped you get the three younger kids on the bus, fed the dogs, raked the yard, and took Aunt Sue to her doctor’s appointment….. now, about that new saxophone…..”
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It’s the same way with countries. Dealing with the old monarchies of Europe is very much like bargaining with an oldest daughter over a Prom Dress.
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If we want to avoid war, we need to deal with these realities.  We need to make sure that Israel, England, and Japan can live comfortably without starting a war. We need to help countries like Germany and the Congo to feel safe and complete within their borders.
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In Asia and Africa, where the actual oldest countries are, it’s different because a different level of maturity has been reached.  The hard edges of need and ego have been buffed and rounded.
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These countries know who they are, know who their neighbors are, know what their challenges are, are confident in their abilities, know their limitations, and contribute as adults.
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They are hard to provoke into a war for the same reason that a forty-year-old is less volatile than a teenager, but if they go to war, they are far more dangerous because they aren’t doing it to get attention or to create a deal-making situation to get their needs met.
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They are doing it to kill or be killed.  This is why tiny Vietnam could stymie France and bring the U.S. to a standstill.
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So it is four o’clock in the morning…. somewhere in my memory, I am aware that it is time to get up and feed the cows.  My dog is hopeful, trying to convince me that he is a c.ow.  I am shaking my head and thinking about Poland.
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Poland, like Germany, has no natural borders to speak of.  Like Germany, Poland’s historical borders have shifted and re-shuffled many times.  Unlike Germany, Poland has an admirable record of keeping the peace.  Why?
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Like the middle child, Poland has to shoulder in between Germany and Russia and make sense of it all, and Poland does that.
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Germany may be brilliant, but Poland is wise.
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Russia may have all the latest tech, but Poland knows the value of a good outhouse.
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At the end of the day, a little vodka and some polka music makes the world a better place.
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Me thinks we could all learn a lot from the Pollocks about what is truly valuable and how to keep the peace.
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So, I have ten daughters, a herd of cows, and slightly more than 200 countries to feed and care for.  And yes, it is still dark every morning when I get up.
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I am looking for a few good Pollocks to help me out here.
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We need peacekeepers who are comfortable with being at peace, self-sufficient, self-respecting, and willing to nurture the rest of the world because they come from a position of inner strength.  We need to observe and learn from all the people and countries that keep the peace and who value peace, because it is not enough to enshrine peace as some airy-fairy ideal.
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The time has come to make peace a living, breathing reality, and not be distracted from the goal just because a queen or emperor has an ego-driven meltdown or a neighboring country can’t pay its gas bill.
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When the small and vulnerable countries throw tantrums, we need to recognize their needs the same way we recognize it when a baby needs changing.  When one of the larger “border-less” countries gets confused, we need to help them find workable definitions the same way we help teenagers find their identity.
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Through it all, we need to act as a family and be aware that we are part of a family — the family of Mankind.  Just step back for a moment and view the world as a Grandmother.
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