November 16, 2015

International Day for Tolerance, November 16th, 2015

It's been a while ... it was never in our thoughts and hearts to put aside the blog but situation was such that we had to step away.
Unfortunately the reason to write now is tragic.
The attacks in Paris, Beirut and the continue horrors that so many people from around the world are enduring, people all over the African continent are living under fear from poverty, war, corruption, brutal regimes, people in the Middle East of all faiths and religions, people are denied basic human rights in every corner of the world.
And with that I come to the main reason for my post. Most of the reactions to the Paris attacks have been of support for the victims and their families. But there are voices that imply or just plain say it that the French people have somehow deserved this.
For me one thing is clear the attacks that struck on France, on Paris, on locals and tourists alike, people of all faiths, of all ages, of all beliefs, is was an attack on all of us, on peace, an attempt to further deepen the divisions between us and an attempt to subdue us all to a culture of violence and fear. It is a clear and blunt disrespect for life, for the values that most of us share, for the right to live and choose how we live. Not just an attack on what is called the Western World, but an attack on all of us and a threat for us all.
Every life is precious and holds in itself value, to which is added the promise of what each life will bring to the general human development and existence. Every loss of life is a loss for all of us.
The fact that we don't always hear about it on the news doesn't take away from the value of each human life, from the pain and suffering of those left behind. But just the same it doesn't diminish the value of the life lost that are reported.
There are undeniable dark spots in every nations history - and in all the nations current existence. Some of them recognized, some of them not. France included (but so are every other nation in this world - our becoming hasn't always been respectful of the others). But this fact does not justify the killing and hurting of innocent people. 
No conversation should start here and no arguments starting from this are valid.
It is a shame that the events are not covered fairly and equally in the press. But it is not their fault either that most of us knew about the attacks in Beirut after the ones in Paris (myself included).
And it is not for sure the fault of the people in Paris.
We are each responsible to educate ourselves, to keep in touch with the world, to look beyond ourselves, our home, our community, our country and our region. And even so we might not always be able to keep in touch with everything happening in the world. 
The thing is what we do when we find out or what we do about the things we already know about.
It is not just the job of politicians, of governments or administrations. We are should each try and do our part in dealing with what's wrong in the world. And each of us can do it.
Governments and politicians have a lot of work to do and  it's up to us to keep the pressure on them to do the right thing, but it starts with each individual.

As I see things our response should be to love each other, to respect each other, to educate (ourselves first and others), to be tolerant and caring for each other and for our world. I think this is how we will light up our existence and reject the darkness.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who suffer, have lost someone dear, or they are injured, or someone they love is injured, to people who have lost their homes to war and destruction and have to rely on the mercy of others. To all our families and friends, to all, may you find comfort and always be safe.

"We can build a society grounded on friendship and our common humanity
 – a society founded on tolerance."