Friday, January 9, 2015


The news from Paris was so shocking and sad.  So terrible.  What happened to get to this point?  What can be done?  Somehow, people are not communicating.  There must be a better way to listen to one another.  

Different cultures have different ways of expressing ideas and criticism.  In the west, humor and satire are one of those ways; it's something that we take for granted.  But that's not the way it is in the entire world.  Some places have different values, different ways of showing discontent and criticism.

It seems like it is a natural thing to express discontent in some way.  And as an American, it seems like a right to be able to do so.  This is part of progress, part of assuring the many other rights to which one is entitled.  It does seem to infringe upon the space others, though.  But then, so does killing people.

If media organizations were to listen to threats more closely, would that help end the discord?  Is it a question of being heard and respected?  Or is it one of power?  Would obeying threats end the problem, at least as far as media terrorism is concerned?   Or would it simply open the door to increased censorship, even in mainstream media?

Perhaps it's impossible to know.  What is the root of this conflict?  We can ask the question in such a way as to be better informed in our voting, better informed on what we say on the matter, and what opinion we have on it.  I think we can also ask the question in a way as to be better informed on human nature and how we, in our daily lives, act in scenarios apart from this one.  What is it to be offended or outraged?  How do we express that in a way that others can understand and respond to?  And how do we ensure that we are respecting the ways that others live and the values that they have?

Killing is not a sustainable solution.  Everybody involved in this event and what led to it was a human being; capable of making decisions, disposed to acting on beliefs, part of a community in which they were raised.  We are all human beings.  Maybe we can at least learn something from this tragedy in order to find a more sustainable solution for the future.

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