WWN Reflection 01.08.2015: The recent events in France bring to light the need not only to stand up and unite against terrorism and violence, BUT also a more important conversation about the UNIVERSAL concepts of respect and tolerance for all diverse cultures, religions, political and belief systems. Do I believe in the right to freedom of speech? Yes! Yes! Yes!
However, I also espouse the belief that we must not abuse that freedom to belittle or insult other people who hold contrary views from us. With every freedom comes enormous RESPONSIBILITY. We cannot teach one without the other or else resentment builds, and chaos is bound to follow. Things like Racism, Religious intolerance, Tribalism…are birthed when seemingly ‘innocuous’ stereotypes and prejudices are continually generalized, distorted and perpetuated by whomever has the ‘POWER’. We must talk about BOTH!
From Pakistan, to Nigeria to France….these horrific events are showing us that we must pay attention to the ROOT causes of our disconnect as human beings. Any religion, political group or organization that teaches HATE in any form, puts us all at risk! The fact that we do not agree with others is not an excuse to belittle them (either with the might of the pen or with swords and bullets)!
#JeSuisCharlie? This is beyond a harsh tag and casting aspersions. We are all Charlie and maybe even more difficult to accept, perhaps we are also all terrorists! *Gasp* We should all be people who are willing to stand up and walk their talk, stand up for justice in any form, regardless of the divide! Perhaps, there’s no ‘US’ against ‘them’, only WE against OURSELVES!
P.S: This is not about finger-pointing so please refrain from hate comments about religion(s). This is about us personally reflecting on the different ways (consciously and unconsciously), that we all install belief systems/programs of hate or ‘me against them’. If we search ourselves, we’ll find that we’re all guilty! Let’s explore this deeper because the explosion is looming at our doorsteps. God help and bless us all!
May the innocent souls of all who die as a result of acts of terror, violence and war, Rest in Perfect Peace, Amen. And may the living who bear the scars of survival, find healing, peace and comfort. Ozoemena!
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-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA
Poet | Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer -Consultant|
~Take empowered ACTION towards a Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier YOU!~
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Co-Founder and Executive Director at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is the author of the upcoming books: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership” and “Today, I Will Not Bow”. A self-described Life-Connoisseur, who loves life and the whole human experience, Juliet was nicknamed a ‘Reminderist’, [one who reminds us of that which we already know; that we are not fractured or broken and NOW is the perfect time to replace that fallacy with a new, beautiful truth: we are worthy, empowered, complete, whole creatures and our life journey is to return to wholeness]!
She is a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership, Investment & Financial Literacy for women and youth (especially girls). Her mission is simply to engage, educate and empower women, regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-based, Scientific and Universal (Common-Sense) principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc. Enjoy some of her portfolio of poems on her Floetry Blog and follow her daily reflective posts on Facebook.
Her message is simply: “To use the power of written-spoken-sung WORDS to connect, heal, empower, change and transform our inner and outer worlds. Words have power in the meaning and interpretation we choose to give them and all of life is synchronistic poetry in motion! Are you telling empowering stories about yourself and others?”