Are our dreams vanished?

At 17, I had to write and orally present an argument essay on a topic of my choice. It was 1979 (the age of Aquarius?, some cynics might gibe) and I chose a subject related to nonviolence being a remedy to most of our international issues. I remember taking the examples of three different countries and three similar emblematic figures: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Thirty-seven years later, I still remain inspired by these three pacifist leaders.

martin-luther-king-180477_1920Even today. As Berlin mourns for the loss of German citizens, I wonder where humanism, compassion and tolerance have gone. When I was a teenager, I thought I was living in troubled times but I had this confident hope that new Kings, new Gandhis and new Mandelas would peacefully stand up for the rights of the oppressed. I somehow had faith in the advent of a fresh awareness era. I do not know whether it is because I am at the change of life but I have lost that conviction. My high ideals have been drowned in the present sea of mediocrity. The world today leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It seems like our ability to think, dispute and buck the trend has substantially been shrinking. Where have our dreams run away?

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” (Martin Luther King)
pacifist-71445_640All those powerful speeches, all those words of wisdom still echo in my mind. Though I sometimes feel like we have been giving up our visions for a better world. Excessive capitalism and greed have caused more pollution. We are consuming in order to keep others busy producing and we are producing in order to keep others busy consuming. Why? Not sure we know why. Things are not making us happier. They are keeping us busy and preventing us from thinking and being profound. Things are depriving us from our humanity. And filling the gaps in our lives. We are scared of the void are we not?
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Reading this quote from Gandhi, we must believe that kind people are everywhere on this planet. They may be few but but their voices cannot be silenced by bombs and killing truck drivers. Their words will never be erased from human hearts. Now is the time to listen.
“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” (Nelson Mandela)
non-violence-1160133_640As Mandela states it, poverty and injustice are the stumbling block and as long as inequality persists, violence will devastate our societies. Words like equality, tolerance, peace, justice or freedom may sound like hackneyed notions to those who have deleted the term “human” from their vocabulary. Let us keep on rejoicing, dreaming, smiling and laughing, resisting and questioning, thinking and learning because these are acts of bravery nowadays. And because it is thoroughly human.
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