“Normality is merely a matter of consensus, that is, a lot of people think something is right, and so that thing becomes right”
— Paulo Coelho, “Veronika Decides to Die”
Relativity and diversity are a corner stone in understanding the complexities of this world. Herb Cohen said, “You and I don’t see things as they are we see things as we are” and that explains how relative everything can be, it explains that what’s normal to someone is not necessarily normal to everyone else, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. What’s normal to you is only normal to you because you are unique, and everyone else is unique as well.
In order to be able to live together in this world and with such entangled issues and the new conflicts arising everyday one has to be well-equipped with solid information that would help him or her better understand other people.
Communication is absolutely the best means ever to bridge the gaps and create a circle of trust that would help people really get to know each other very well and subsequently understand each other. Face to face interaction has always proven to be positive in creating a real understanding. It also helps create the compassion needed for humans to interact and create the bond needed to build up a society that can deal with diversity as a life inevitability.The less people communicate, the more likely they misunderstand other cultures. Once one knows nothing or very little about others, the chances are so high that he or she can form stereotypes and misleading ideas that could probably lead to misunderstanding and intolerance.
One can’t exist unless he or she coexists. Living in today’s world and especially in the Middle East makes one understand the inevitability of diversity and coexistence. Most of the conflicts taking place in the Middle East basically driven from the inability of sharing life together. Unfortunately power is a factor that controls almost everything in life, so unless tolerance frames the life we are living in now we have a slight chance of surviving.
A society in development has to move from a tribal one to a multicultural one, and a multicultural society is a place where people from different walks of life can live together peacefully regardless of their ethnic, religious background. It is only what you do that matters, if you do something great everyone has to support you. Human endeavor would become then the ideal we are looking up to. Mother Teresa said she doesn’t want Muslims to become Catholics all what she wanted was that Muslims become better Muslims, Catholics become better Catholics as well as Hindus become better Hindus.
The deeper we look at human nature and how religions have been manipulated by people with unlimited powers, the sadder one can be, but still we have hope in the grassroots, they have to get together and eliminate all reasons of hatred and call out for peace, love and joy.
It has been noticed that most of the clashes, seemingly religious based, take place in poor areas, which makes the problems more complicated, we can’t separate the economic factor from the idea of tolerance and coexistence. People who are angry at life may act recklessly and even violently, not because they hate others, but because life is so tough on them.
We must also fight against hate speech in media, which often supports the idea of absolutism. Sometimes this comes in the form of religion, where followers of a given faith claim their beliefs are the only correct ones, and other religions and their followers are unworthy, even if they may have positive qualities. If media is allowed to continue to feed into the hate, one can’t be optimistic about social dialogue.
The role one has to play nowadays is to make great efforts that would help include everyone in any given society. Once an individual feels justice and inclusion, this person would do his best to use his potentials in a way that people may never expect.