TRIBALISM - "JE SUIS CHARLIE"
My ancestors were the Dacian people, from the Thracian Tribes. The ancient Greeks called us Getae. Now, we are called Romanians. The names change through time, so do some of the traditions and customs but on the other hand, many things do not change especially in remote places.
As we all have our own tribal ancestry, we have unique stories, ideas and knowledge. I celebrate that and try to learn as much as I can from others. I find little good in homogenizing the entire world with fast-food places and soccer stadiums. Globalisation has put us in a tricky spot though: we are migrating and moving around the globe like never before: ideas and opinions are competing for space and time.
With that in mind, it seems that ideological clashes are happening all over the world : Sunni fighting Shiites, Christians fighting Sunni, Shiites fighting Sikhs ... I even found reports of a Buddhist monk inciting violence against Muslims in Myanmar. You know the world’s gone astray when Buddhists start getting violent.
I started writing this article/blog when I read a posted comment on a social website, earlier today:
“I am Charlie. But I'm scared. And guess what. So are a lot of other people. Especially in France. They put on a brave face but this was nothing short of a successful terrorist attack on Paris. Now, the problem must be faced. But since there's no way of stopping these kinds of attacks, the citizens have every reason to be afraid. What happened at Charlie Hebdo is just one example. Who or what next? The world waits.”
Who or what next is a good question at this point. We do have options. We can get thicker doors, walk around in bullet-proof vests, or we can build high fences around our homes and businesses. Some countries are doing that, with little success I may add. Or, the other option I see is to embrace our differences, accept them and take some time to learn about each other.
The isolated cases of lunatics going on rampages are really small, considering there are seven billion people living on this planet and most people are peaceful. So, the people who engage in terrorism may be mentally unstable like the case in Ottawa, Canada a few months back, or brainwashed by one ideology or another, like Timothy McVeigh a right wing ideologue who blew up a building in Oklahoma, United States. Ideas can become dangerous if we have no limits, or if we are at the point that we believe we have nothing to lose.
Listening to an interview of a wife of one of the cartoonists killed in France, I heard a similarity which I found very interesting. The lady mentioned that her husband/partner was a very brave man and that he died “for an idea” (her exact words): “freedom of speech”. It was sobering to realize that the terrorists died for an idea too: “revenging the Prophet” – it was reported that they said that after the massacre they engaged in at the Charlie Hebdo office.
People dying and killing each other for ideas - this is where we are at, in my opinion. If we can solve this issue, I think we can create a more harmonious atmosphere for everyone. We all have different ideas, as we all come from different tribes, with different traditions and so on. It would do us well to try to learn as much as we can about one another, to take the time to listen to each others' opinions, grievances and to help one another as much as we can. If we start being more supportive and understanding towards one another, I think people will be less inclined to kill one another. It’s just an idea and I am not killing anyone for it but I think it may be something worth thinking about.
All the best to everyone!