Even though the idea of “world peace” is nowadays often associated with comedy and satire or with idealisation and fantasy, I think many of us would crawl through a sewage tank if it would bring peace to the world. Perhaps tolerance is a suitable stepping stone, because it is something that we can all practice, being able to coexist in harmony in the environments we inhabit, including our neighbourhoods, schools and work spaces.
The reality is, we all have different beliefs. Even with the umbrella terms of major religions and scientific bodies, there are countless shoots of different sections within those. We all see the world differently and act accordingly. Yet, we are all equal. To claim that our beliefs, thoughts and attitudes are valid is to allow others to also claim theirs as valid. To claim a right to hold them is to allow others the right to hold their own too, even if they conflict with ours.
Let’s try to be less judgemental and more understanding. less critical and more praising, less hateful and more loving. Let’s not approach violently those who embody a conflicting perspective to our own. If we cannot understand them or even respect them, let’s at the very least tolerate them and move on. We can stand up for our own beliefs without crushing others. As we continue to wade through times of conflict and strife, let’s remember that the world is also full of many good people and good deeds, and we can all contribute by being good people ourselves and performing good deeds too.
My heart and prayers are with those in Paris.