Even before the attacks in Paris I had seen recently on Facebook a joke that was doing the rounds. It goes something like “A muslim, a jew, a christian and an atheist walk into a coffee shop…. and they talk, laugh, drink coffee and become good friends. that’s what happens when you’re not an asshole.” It is a pretty simple joke/statement but the base of it is so true. If we all just learned to talk to each other and not be afraid of each other’s beliefs and cultures the world would be a better place. It would be the place John Lennon Imagined. Then the attacks in Paris happened and it all seems too big, and too huge. But really, when it comes down to it, if we all just learned to be nice to each other and talk to each other, all of us, everywhere, then perhaps it’s not too stupid.
Hate and bigotry and jealousy are emotions that waste you. I’m no saint. There are people that get on my nerves, I’d even go so far as to say that there’s one or two people in this world I almost say I ‘hate’ – although I prefer not to waste my time or energy focusing on them enough to actually hate them. I’ve been hurt by people and I realise that the best way to move on is to move on. Reliving hurts or injustices doesn’t do anyone any good, it doesn’t change anything and it does take a lot of energy – so I try to “forgive and forget” or at least “forget and move on”.
I’m thinking of Paris, and I’m thinking of all the places in the world where injustices are happening. Paris takes our attention because we know it – many of us have been there – it is familiar to us. It is getting attention more than other recent terror events because it’s like the neighbour’s house that has been vandalised, rather than the house vandalised in the next town. It’s not any more important or worse, it’s just familiar, closer to home.
Out of these attacks of hate, I hope that a stronger, force emerges – one of love, peace and care. Not just in Paris, but around the world – we need to unite not divide. We need to talk to each other, embrace each other’s differences and ideals. Discuss and debate, and learn to live together.
Liberté, égalité and fraternité. From a kiwi to all Parisians, Kia Kaha xx
Spotify has a fabulous Peace playlist at the moment, but I went searching for a favourite Song of Peace written by New Zealander Dorothy Buchanan. I didn’t think I’d find it on youtube, but I did find a version… so here it is.