Watching the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris, I can only wonder what kind of brain washing it requires to change someone from an ordinary person searching for happiness to someone who willingly murders innocents and think they have the moral right to do so.
I can only imagine these people are truly ignorant. They have been fed with stories of hatred, of how the world is against them who are purer than others. Whose god is the right one – and everyone else trying to search for a higher meaning in life is wrong. That is the epitome of ignorance.
I don’t believe in naming the divine with a specific name. I’m sure whatever creative force there is, it doesn’t care one bit about how we choose to name it. Just imagine all the vanished cultures. They also named their gods and goddesses, and those names were forgotten. And yet the world keeps of renewing itself, it did not end when the names of these divinities were no longer chanted in now forgotten languages in temples that have crumbled..
But the ignorance of anyone attacking another with the planned purpose to kill them in the name of hatred is astounding. And the ones who feed this hatred and ignorance are the ones responsible. Too often attackers like those in Paris are kept in emotional isolation by those who pull the strings in the background in the name of religion, when their true motive is gaining power, ruling over other. Being better than others.
No one is better than the next person. And the knowledge of this can only come through learning about the world, its peoples and cultures. And it is today as it has been through history – those who can read, and who are allowed to read whatever they want, are the most educated ones.
Of course the human psychology plays its part – everyone wants to belong to a group that accepts them. Everyone wants to belong. But I very much doubt anyone would want to belong their whole life in a group promoting hatred. If you feel you have been wronged, then yes, for a while a group such as this may give you relief, a way to vent your anger. But surely at some point you begin to feel miserable, and long for more balanced emotions. Of true belonging, acceptance, of love.
Books give knowledge, give the reader a chance to feel emotions safely, teach why others might feel and act the way they do. And eventually they teach us about the humanness of us all. They raise questions, and these push the reader to search for answers. All through their lives.
Because we are never ready. We never find all the answers. The knowledge we were born to learn about ourselves, and that we can only do that when meeting other people who mirror ourselves back to us, should make us curious about other people. To ask questions about their values, and compare those to ours. And make us realise no one has the moral high ground from where they are allowed to shoot down on others simply because they think differently.
The true criminals in this world in my mind are those who prevent others from finding out about all the sides of any given issue. The ones who prevent girls from going to schools, the ones who prevent anyone from reading books they want to read, and forcing them to only read dogmas of hatred. They do their utmost to prevent the people under their power from developing into balanced human beings through their own search, their own questioning.
And why do they do that? Because of fear. They fear losing their own power over other people. They fear the knowledge they are not better than the others. Their weak self confidence would crumble and they would be forced to meet the scariest thing of all – themselves. Start that journey inwards into their true self, and their connection to everything alive. To learn this connection is about respect. No one can convert the whole world to their view, so attacking others in the name of a certain belief is a lost cause from the very start.
So despite people being killed in terrorist attacks, these ignorant attackers can only be pitied. They have lost their cause through their own actions – they did not impress anyone joining their beliefs, they only increased the resolution of the civilised world to be even stronger in their stand for democracy, for freedom, for equality. And in the end this is what everyone wants. To have a right to speak their opinion openly, to decide about their own lives, and to be respected as an equal to anyone in your society.
This is basic human psychology, and thus anyone trying to prevent this through actions of violence is destined to lose their battle – they are fighting against the very humanness in us all.
A thoughtful and well-written reaction, Leena! Thank you for sharing it.