When I switch on the TV these days or check the news online, I start to shiver sometimes. The amount of aggression I see it not only shocking, it's scaring me. I understand that topics like illegal immegration are loaded with emotions and involve a lot of challenges, and either side has the right to raise their concerns and be heard. But what I see when I scroll through the comments on articles, reaches from insults to bare hatred and threats towards people stating their opinion. It seems that some people forget any courtesy and decency when it comes to defending "their territory".
The definition of tolerance is "the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with". This ability should be a skill we have developed continuously from the moment we started interacting with others as children, up to our adultery. And yet, so many of our fellow citizens seem to have difficulties in accepting another's point of view. Unfortunately, those verbal attacks are not limited to social media and opinions. Offensive hatred towards people of colour, immigrants and refugees seems to increase on a daily basis, and it does not even stop for kids. I'm starting to ask myself "Is this what we are? Haven't we learned from our mistakes and can it indeed occur that history is repeating itself?
Various individuals in official positions ignite this rage, and it serves a clear purpose. Public depreciation of specific ethnic groups and fueling fears are a means of manipulation and systematic separation aiming to gain control and power. But is that what we want? After all, it is on us to let our minds get intoxicated by obvious propaganda or to embrace empathy and openness towards people of different cultural backgrounds.
No matter where we were born, no matter the colour of our skin, no matter our religious belief, we are all humans, living on this planet earth. So why are we fighting each other?
A recent experiment which went viral on Social Media gave a positive example of how people's negative perception of other nationalities can change in seconds. A group of people, born and raised in different countries made a DNA test. Each of them was convinced to be a "pure" national of his country. When the test results were revealed to them, they learned that all of them were a colourful mix of different origins. Many of them had traits of exactly that nationality they were raging against before, and all of a sudden, they had to embrace this ancestry as a part of themselves, instead of rejecting it. If you haven't seen the video yet, you can watch it here.
So what is the learning from this? It is simple. We are all a colourful mix of different origins! None of us is "pure", and everyone has a unique DNA. Not one matches another.
But isn't that what makes us special and beautiful?
So wouldn't it be nice if we tried to understand and learn from each other instead of meeting with mistrust and hate? Wouldn't it be nice, if we supported each other, rather than fighting a potential enemy? Wouldn't it be nice if our children grew up in peace instead of war?
I think it is time to stand up against discrimination and hatred, no matter where it occurs!
What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear from you!