The right to be wrong

Israel & Palestine flagsSome subjects are so sensitive, so thorny that it looks like you have to slip on a pair of gloves before you can handle it. Although I believe it is best to go barehanded – the move seems more honest-to-goodness -, I also believe in fundamental human values, of which subtlety and tolerance. Moreover I do not think that one is either right or wrong. Nothing is black or white, things are gray and there are many shades of gray.

Many pro-Palestinian marches have taken/will still take place in several European cities and flocks of troublemakers have sometimes been vandalizing and chanting foul smelling slogans. As I was sitting on a bench, I witnessed the comings and goings of protesters on the streets. Some mothers were pushing strollers, children at their sides and some toddlers that could not even read, were displaying boards saying things such as “Boycott Israel”. A boy was riding on a bike, joyfully holding the handlebar with one hand and a Palestinian flag with the other one. As the flag was flapping behind, he was shouting out “Allahu akbar”. It sounded like a war cry.

Last week, a (former) friend of mine on Facebook (I mean an ex-real friend, someone I used to know and appreciate) started to spew hateful statuses. He called for the genocide of Palestinians. “Kill them all”, he wrote. It clearly sounded like a war cry too.

I just hope those people do not represent the mainstream. And I wonder why we hear nothing but them! This topic must be triggering violence at the moment like no other subject does. Everyone holds a view on the subject and social medias are currently another war zone. The conflict is being imported in every country, in every city through protest marches, for example, whether pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli and the world itself has become a virtual battlefield.

Enough hate! Extremists sound just the same to me. No matter how diverging their opinions may be. Haters are speaking the same language and it is not mine. Nor it is the language of most sensible persons. There was a time I thought religion was meant to improve people, to raise their consciousness and urge them to love their fellow humans. That was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?

Religion does not draw people together. Like politics, it divides us. It gives the wrong idea that we are… right and that the one in front of us is wrong. Maybe wisdom and free-thinking are granting us the right to be wrong. Do we always have to take sides on every issue? How are we supposed to know that our side’s the right one? Of course, silence always takes us on the safe side. When will we grow up and seriously consider that we may be wrong, that nobody is strictly right or wrong after all… Then we will at last be ready to look into the eyes of those who were our enemies and listen to what they have to say, and they will do likewise for us. Well, in a perfect world, that is. And we’re not even close to perfect! So the next step for change is to tantalize my ego and eventually accept that I have a right to be wrong. The good news is you too!

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