In refugee camps around the world, I met people who were gone. They were still walking around but had lost so much that they were unable to claim any sort of identity. Others I met found who they truly were, and they generally found it through service to others. They became teachers when there was no school, books or pencils.
One of the things that has really hit home for me is that the world is how we decide it is going to be. Very few things just happen. They grow out of history, and they grow out of the present, and the more we can get a sense of how our actions lead into other actions in the future, hopefully we'll learn to make better decisions.
We never know who we are going to be until we are tested, but perhaps we can test ourselves without going to the extremes of war. Perhaps we can be kinder now, live with less now, reach out to others now - and build an inner reserve of a strong identity that will hold us up even when everything else falls away.