I cannot tell the origin of the quote "Imagine there is war and nobody is showing up", I heard it several times and in fact I do see war as one of the silliest actions, humans can do. My grandma told me a lot about the second world war, so I have got a few impressions from the time back then. But when I think of war I also think of litigation, quarrel and almost any form of aggressiveness between humans.
For me it is clear that I won't go somewhere to make war or go to someone because I want to litigate. But what comes to my mind more often lately is: What if the war comes to me?
Myagi (in the film Karate Kid) says: "Best defense ... not be there". I mentioned that earlier in the post "Best defense". As I also mentioned there that even being the most peaceful creature, sometimes it may necessary to fight - and - People are way too creative in seeing threats anywhere.
It is very easy to offend people and in fact people feel offended even if it was the last thing you desired. That's why it is so difficult to just make peace.
Lately I discussed this topic with my father and he said: "Even the most peaceful animal starts to fight if it feels cornered." While it is quite easy to get aware when you are physically pushed into a corner, from psychologic, economic or political viewpoint it might be not always easy to distinguish whether you are caught in a dead-end or not.
Even from a distant philosophical or ethical point of view avoiding the fight/quarrel/litigation - and by this accept an aggressor to get closer and overrun everybody else, is not a solution either. The tipping point here maybe is: "Don't avoid fight at any cost."
Fight or war should be however be the very, very last option. In most cases compasion and empathy are the better alternatives. And instead of destroying something it is better to construct something better (which will the worse cause to fade away itself).
Oh, by the way: I discovered, that the more you talk (or write ;-) ) the more you are at risk that somebody gets it wrong what you say and feel offended. Maybe that is a major reason why wise people usually talk less and only talk if they are asked. That way the risk of other people getting it wrong and be offended is reduced.
Related posts: Best defense, Stop war by stopping defense, Little respect, Dissolved aggressiveness, Stake your claim, What remains.