In short terms, love cannot stand on its own defeating the atrocities, the hunger, the suffering of the innocent, or our collapsing eco system.
I have been following, like many people in the UK or elsewhere, the protests against the nearly non-existing environment policies, laws and practice! Two days ago, the Extinction Rebellion protestors in London took the protests to another level. Climbing on to trains at Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell in the early morning hours. Morning commuters did not take that easily and many of them resorted to dragging the protesters from the top of the train. Not only that but some of the angry commuters started kicking and hitting the said protestors as well, Elliot Laughlin, an independent journalist who was recording the incident.
Two things had puzzled me about the Extinction Rebellion incident above;
1- The way that commuters dealt with the situation by resorting to violence.
Now, I know that the whole idea of “disruption is necessary” to highlight an urging global threat might not be the best idea. But what does the commuters’ reaction, the kicking and the hitting, tell us about the behavior of some human beings?
Was the delaying of the trains, and causing the commuters to arrive late to their jobs, justifying enough to the act of violence towards the protestors? Had there been no sensible and rational people, as well as the police, at that time stopping the aggression towards the activists and equally towards individual journalists such as Elliot Laughlin, things might have escalated really badly!!
Then I remembered a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine about how people in certain moments do justify the resorting to violence as a matter of human nature! Do we sympathies with the protestors, who out of love have justified the ‘disruption’ or do we sympathies with the commuters who were concerned about getting to work that provides food for their children!!
Are both wrong in the way they wanted to protect what each side thought more important? Or are both sides right of doing what have been done out of love to each side’s cause respectively?
2- What one of the commuters said to one of the Extinction Rebellion activists setting in a protesting manner by the train: “we haven’t got the time to think about stuff”!
Nonetheless, this is the reality!! We carry busy lives that makes thinking about other things seems impossible. Even if it was about the very planet we are living on! Even if it was about the suffering, the tragedies, the complete atrocities and inhumanity that is going on around the globe!
Let us face it! We are very self-centered, but that is what our lives have become! Robotic! Emotionless! Inhumane! Our hearts might be aching for our fellow human beings in other parts of the world or even on our local streets! But what steps can we take to help! Our brains are washed to only follow the society’s standards of life! We, therefore, shall construct our lives as the following: get a job, preferably a 9 am –5 pm five days a week job; buy a house; get married and have kids…
Please, do not take my words in the wrong way. Because I do not think that there is anything wrong with that! Instead, what I think is wrong is the following: not having much thought about the world you are going to bring your children into, the lessons you are going to teach them about humanity, the kind of miserable life to work yourself out for a job that pays you little to what you think is justified to the amount of work you do compared to the profit you generate!
Again, I do not mean any disrespect by saying the above and I, for one, fall within that description trying to find my way as a human being rather than a profit generator for no particular good cause!
I know it is because we love our families, or the ones we are responsible to provide for, and that is the reason for us keeping up with the exhausting hours at work! Love is the reason behind starting a family and bringing children to this world! But love is also the reason humanity will never die! Because our love for justice, our love for equality, our love for a safer and healthy eco system is the reason behind our rebellious, our resilience, our courage to stand against what is wrong! But it is never the reason behind violence or disruption! You see the reason behind that is FEAR!
Fear is the reason behind using violence to shot peaceful protestors in the Middle East. Fear is the reason behind the Chinese concentration camps for Muslims. Fear is the reason behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the targeting of civilians in Yemen. And it is fear the actual reason for ignoring these atrocities!! Fear to lose power! Fear of economic loss! Fear and just pure fear!
Our love to what is humane, to what is just, is stronger than fear. That is why human beings never give up in the face of the wrong and the unjust!
In short terms, love is only the fuel to our endless passion to a fairer and equal society, a just system, and a healthier safer environment for our next generations. It is the way we translate that passion into something meaningful, that advances our society and help protect what is important to the next generations, what really matters the most!
Lots of love!