Add to the positive vibes in our world PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017 11:46

By: Remedios F. Marmoleño

We presently live in times full of mistrust or hate towards people who don’t look like us – their skin has a color different from ours  or their eyes slant in a way different from ours; or they profess in beliefs that we consider insulting to our own. Truly these are difficult times in this regard.

But it would be naïve to say that these times are novel ones for our world. For so long we have been at each other’s throats. Remember Cain and Abel?

Remember the Egyptians and the Israelites?  Remember the Allies and the Axis armies? Remember the Holocaust? Etc. , etc.

After WWII we had “limited” wars – the Korean War, the  Vietnam War, all those inter-tribal war in Africa and we even had the Cold War which had nothing to do with the climate.

However certain people come into positions where they can greatly influence policy because of the position they occupy and because of their own world view. And this is all the trigger needed to bring to the fore our biases and hatreds which have been simmering below the surface all these times.

Let us take what is happening in the US ( and even in Europe) at this time. Bias against immigrants. Against people of certain religions. Against  those who wear the uniform of authority. The actions generated by these biases can be threatening and frightening and are more causes  of the breakdown of peace in communities.

Technology can be  a strong catalyst for the breakdown of peace. With the advent of fake news sites and the fake news they circulate,  hate and mistrust can be prodded on by “manufactured” news. People who already have strong biases against certain groups are encouraged to be even more so. They sometimes act out their biases or hate. And then there is the matter of copy cat actions. A fake news site reports that a  mosque or a synagogue has been vandalized and pretty soon somewhere else the same thing happens. A fake news site reports that an African-American policeman was shot at and pretty soon the lives of other policemen are in greater jeopardy.

Events like the above have been happening over the years. In our times though the spread of such reports can go faster with the aid of technology, especially the social media.

The other side of the coin is that the same technology can spread  positive reports of actions that give us hope. An item reported that a group of  Muslims in the US helped to clean up a synagogue which had been vandalized with swastikas. In another city a group of Jews and Christians came together to draw a ring of safety around a Muslim mosque which was targeted for attack.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: Would we have been the defenders or those who acted out their biases?