I recently had the privilege of traveling to what is called The Holy Land. I was a part of a tour sponsored by Oakwood University and Breath of Life (there is more on that tour in another article on our website).
Our particular tour made stops in Israel, Jordan and Egypt (part of our group went to Israel and Jordan and skipped Egypt).
It was only fairly recently that a tour such as that was even possible. Egypt and Jordan were at war with Israel for 50 years. It was not uncommon for terrorists to attack tour buses such as ours. Additionally, even though Jordan and Israel share a border, direct travel between the two countries was not allowed. You would have to, for example, travel from Jordan to a neutral country that had diplomatic relations with both Jordan and Israel and then fly from that country on to Israel.
It would be like traveling from New Jersey to New York City and instead of taking the tunnel in New Jersey and coming out on the other side in New York City, having instead to go to Canada and then doubling back to New York-simply because New York and New Jersey were at war and did not get along.
In the late 1970’s, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty. Jordan and Israel did the same about 20 years later. This opened up the way for the countries to do business with each other and allowed tourists like me to come to their countries and spend money there.
One of the hotels we stayed in during our tour was a hotel called the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa, in a little town called Sweimeh, Jordan. We only stayed there for one night; I wish we could have stayed there for the entire tour. It was the best hotel we stayed in on the entire tour-by far. In fact, it may well be one of the two or three best hotels I have ever stayed in my life. It was simply beautiful.
It was built less than 10 years ago-but I do not think it gets built at all without a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. I would imagine that hotel is one of the largest employers in the town of Sweimeh (along with a few other similar hotels along the Dead Sea coast). I also imagine those hotels provide jobs and income in that small town of 5,000 people for the local people that they would not otherwise have.
It is part of the economic benefit that has occurred since Israel, Egypt and Jordan decided to stop killing each other and start cashing checks with each other. Getting along makes good $ense.
But not only is peace good for the physical well-being of nations and people, getting along is good for one’s mental being as well. Imagine the stress of living under the daily threat of being attacked by people who live across the border from you.
I suspect that many of us have worked at one time in our lives at a job where people did not get along with each other. Inevitably, in those environments, a lot of time and creative energy is expended in protecting one’s self instead of doing what’s best for the company. In other words, working together and getting along pays; constant conflict costs.
So-if that is the case-if peace pays and constant conflict costs-then, in the words of Rodney King “Why can’t we all get along?”- especially since often, all it takes to end conflict, is a single conversation between two parties.
I think the answer can be summed up in one word-Pride. Pride is really the original sin.
In her book, From Eternity Past, Ellen White talks about that pivotal moment in eternity past when Lucifer turned into Satan. It was the moment in heaven when Lucifer was faced with the choice of continuing his rebellion against God–a war which he with his brilliant intellect should have realized that he had zero chance of winning–or, repenting and being reinstated in his position in heaven next to God.
Ellen White said Lucifer “was convinced that he was in the wrong…He nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him.” I do not know if I have read more powerful–and sadder words. Six thousand years of pain, suffering, sickness and death was entirely avoidable if one individual had swallowed his pride.
Perhaps there is some situation you are dealing with that involves some pride. Those situations almost always start off with something small. But pride can turn a brushfire problem into a towering inferno that can threaten our peace now–and, our eternity later. But there is nothing that pride can start that humility cannot end.
Getting along just makes good sense.