Charlie Hebdo

What day will Jan 7 be remembered for?

Just an ordinary Wednesday? A day where it is actually very cold? Yeah, cold it is. It’s freezing cold with a -17 Celsius. The skies were threatening dark, no sun, no brightness, and no clarity. The snow fell – clearing it was futile.

That day I am sitting in the office, writing, reading, just working as anyone would do on such a day. Have the heat on so there is a warm place, a place of comfort, a place not to be ice cold outside in the freezer.

I am clicking pages away and opening others again. What little did I know? With every click with my mouse guns were fired. With every click of my mouse people died. With every click of my mouse the world got into fear. With every click of my mouse the upcoming xenophobia is strengthened, the anti-xenophobia too. With every click of the mouse the gap between extremes in nearly all possible ways is widened.

After having clicked 12 times, 12 people died, slaughtered, executed, families ripped apart, because? They were drawing cartoons!

They were drawing critically, for change, for understanding, sharp and satirically. They drew, made jokes, reported in a polemic style. They were questioning religion, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and didn’t make a difference between the three. They were drawing about politics, against (right wing) extremism, and against the elite. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist they have done this since the 1970-ies with nowadays a circulation of 45.000 editions weekly.

These people, with their ideology, morals, and standards were fighting for attention, doing what they thought was the right thing to do are now dead. They didn’t die alone. A part of freedom, peace and safety died with them. Fear of publishing critically is coming into its place, fear to be shot because of exercising a moral duty. A duty to inform, to provoke thoughts and to create a debate.

Yes, I think it’s true that when you have the ‘right’ of doing something that offends other people that one shouldn’t always take it to protect the benefit for the many, or a group of people, to keep peace and to guide public debates. But, this is a relatively small newspaper not aiming being against a particular group of people rather fighting for a whole left-wing set of ideals. A correct politically chosen standpoint in which many people agree with are inspired by and support. If it is the case that one doesn’t agree with content or style, one can take notice of it, debate or ignore, but NOT shooting and executing people with bullets while they use the pen!

I refuse to live a life in fear, I refuse to live in a world where the gap between our fellow human beings is getting wider, I refuse to put my head in the sand, I refuse to give in to a few or many people who create, follow, practice fear and violence. I refuse contributing in ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I refuse to all that is opposing Martin Luther King Jr.’s saying: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that – hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”.

And according to Gandhi – an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind.

I can be quite self-centered, but, in this, I do have my standards, care, love, positivity, faith, believes, morals and ideology where I stand behind of. I may not agree with everything, but, I want to be aware of what I don’t agree with, I want to understand it, I want to debate it, and I want to come into a consensus. I want to get people together, in solidarity, overcoming obstacles, finding peace and harmony for the benefit for everyone. So everyone can live in dignity, have their heads held up high, stand behind ideas, debate them, go for them in a good, positive and constructive way.

I firmly believe that this is possible. Nobody is born evil, born with hate, born to kill, born to be against, born to be selfish, or born to make it our fellow human being or the planet as a whole more difficult than it already is.

We are made out of love, compassion, to be constructively working to the better. We don’t survive through negativity – we survive by building bridges, understanding, adding on and not taking anything away.

We can’t afford to measure ourselves through what we have, what phone we use, what house we live in, and what car we drive. We can’t afford to make these contradictions as this is setting people up against each other.

Let us fulfill our needs and work towards coming closer, sharing the wealth that the world really possesses. Let us take care of each other and respect another who thinks differently. Let us be good, positive and finding strength in each other. Everyone has positivity and characteristics to contribute with.

We can afford to let go of the value of material things, of things money can buy, of greed and of setting each other up against each other. We can afford to focus on our personal wellbeing also considering other people, taking care of the other, and love each other for who we truly are. Disregarding age, sex, sexual preference, color, richness, health, nationality, race, and education as we all are human beings sharing 1 home. Planet earth. Therefor it is our common responsibility to take care of our home and everyone and everything living on it as we don’t have any other place to go to.

How would you see yourself at your best?

Sadly January 7 will be remembered for the shooting and its consequences at Charlie Hebdo. But there is also hope. Hope for people waking up, taking action to keep ‘us’ together.

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