It’s safe to assume that most people would prefer wars not happen at all. Battles from long ago can be studied as a part of our history, but the idea of dealing with war today is a disturbing prospect at best. However, by living in an international community and knowing people from all different countries, religions and cultures, we are all more aware of the world – and conflicts – around us. Students from The British School of Beijing weighed in, sharing their thoughts on war, and how they view their futures.
Audria Namondwe, 17, Malawi – has lived in Beijing for three years
Brian Wu, 17, Macau – has lived in Beijing for five months
Tiffany Wong, 16, China – has lived in Beijing for two years
Jordan Groen, 16, Australia – has lived in Beijing for six months
What is the primary cause of war?
Tiffany: It’s because of the political disputes between countries.
Audria: One of the causes of war is conflict between people and nations.
Jordan: I think racism is a cause of war.
Brian: Part of it is about money.
Will there be another world war in your lifetime? And what do you think it would be fought about?
Jordan: I don’t know how long I’ll live, but I think there will probably be a war about oil or some other resources.
Tiffany: I think it’s unlikely to have another world war. As the UN exists, it’s not that easy for war to occur.
Audria: I don’t think there’s going to be another war. Basically, most countries are united, so I don’t think it will happen.
Brian: I don’t think there will be a war, because all the countries have become friends and they are well separated and well organized.
Should men and women both be allowed to fight in combat?
Tiffany: It depends on the situation, but I think women have the right to fight as well, if they’re willing to.
Jordan: I think women should fight in wars if they can and they want to, because they should have the same rights as men.
Audria: I think women should be allowed to fight because they are now considered equal and they have their rights.
Should young people be required to join the military if their country needs more soldiers?
Jordan: I don’t think people should be made to join the Army. I think it’s a personal choice so they can choose to join or not, and if they do then they’re serving their country.
Audria: They shouldn’t join yet, but they should have a choice whether or not to join.
Brian: I think if there are not enough people, they should help. Once they turn 18, they should have the responsibility to help their country out.
Does media coverage reduce or increase the likelihood of war?
Tiffany: I think it’s a bit of both. If people do not know what’s going on they would just be naïve, but the media could cause trouble … it’s a bit of both good and bad.
Jordan: I think media can cause war faster, because if something happens in one country, it spreads all around very quickly and you can’t respond very well because you don’t have much time to respond.
Does war scare you, or is it too common in your lifetime?
Jordan: I think if a war came to where I was or I had to participate in it, then it would scare me. It would worry me. In international schools, we know people from lots of other countries, so I think that if there’s a war anywhere in the world, then it would affect someone we know. I think that’s why it would worry me.
Tiffany: I think I’d be afraid as well.
Audria: It does scare me, because there are lots of victims.
Brian: It doesn’t really scare me, because I think in my lifetime there will never be a world war, so there’s nothing to be scared of.
Where do you feel is the most peaceful place to live, in regards to having no threat of war?
Jordan: Yeah, Antarctica. Although the polar bears could be threatening!
Brian: I think Macao is the best because I’m from there.
Audria: Probably England.
If people could do one thing to further peace, what do you think it should be?
Jordan: I think the little things that happen should just be talked over more. For example, if one person does an act of terrorism, they should talk over it before they start a war.
Audria: Treating everybody as an equal.
Tiffany: Perhaps really talking about the situation and trying to find a solution for it. An example is sharing the natural resources which are limited nowadays, instead of fighting over them. Also, we should be friendlier to each other, treat people like it’s the last day, every day.
Brian: Since we’re in an international school, we are around people from different nations. Treat them as friends and respect them.