The massacre at Paris, like the endless other terrorist activities, has been talked about and compressed into a #hashtag which will soon find itself in the void of oblivion. While everyone is busy mourning, or even being spiteful against the attackers, we at Humour Me wanted people to sing along with us, a song of Hope. Our song ‘Hope’ goes, “it is not only about the lights being turned off on the Eiffel tower,” because hope cannot be constricted in geographical boundaries, it is universal.
We have seen the entire world grieving as one for the lives lost on the night of November 13th in Paris. The city of lights withdrew itself into darkness, its towering beacon shut, indefinitely. The French government declared war on Islamic State.
"Terrorism will not destroy France, because France will destroy it," the French President, Hollande said.
What was the immediate political retaliation to this massacre? France bombed the IS targets in Raqqa, Syria for two consecutive days. The Republic avenged the deaths of almost 129 lives, at the expense of those who were not directly involved with the act of terrorism. The worst affected are those who live under the tyrannical regime of such extremists who are obsessed with the establishment of their propaganda. The oppressed aren’t only the victims of the terrorists who abuse military power, but also of the inevitable backlash of the countries against which such acts happen.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
At an hour like this, when the world is perhaps waiting with bated breath to encounter one of the bloodiest wars waged, will we be the generation to witness it helplessly, rendered into mere minions? We perhaps can try to make a change. It won’t happen overnight, but the gradual onset of our demand for peace might be heard and resonated by those who can visualize the horrific repercussions.
“You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us.”
And hence, we dream. It is human nature to be optimistic, to be hopeful. Peace cannot be a byproduct of violence, of negotiable political treatises. Peace cannot be bought by the most expensive currency; peace, we need to realize, is not something to fight for. We cannot expect to bring peace in our country without harming the serenity of another, peace cannot be fueled by patriotism, by nationalism, by religious ideologies. The quest for peace is universal. We have heard it all, we have seen it all. We don’t hesitate to render it “normal” when we see terrorism and unprecedented violence robbing a mother of her son, a child of their father, a husband of their wife. When they survive, it’s a miracle. When they fight for the cause, we give them awards. What about those who lose their lives over nothing but the insatiable greed to dominate? The world is plagued with the alacrity of dominance; military, economic, ideological or otherwise.
Each day our negligence is increasing, our tolerance as well. We are the victims, and we are the disease. We need to dismantle the whiplash of Islamophobia, imagine your religion being defined by a certain few inhuman puppets at the hands of those who fail to understand the actual essence of it. What is religion, I ask you? Can it exist without us; can it exist without humanity? Our religion and us, are entwined, it shapes us and we interpret it. What bigger religion is there than, love?
Human beings are never born unequal. No human is entitled to rob others of their right to live. We, as human beings, are supposed to enjoy our freedom without staining the independence of others. We are talking about human lives. Lives which have their own dreams, fights, demons, aspirations, memories. Why do we not flinch anymore when we hear of such violence, of murder?
We see blood on our daily headlines. We might ask ourselves what the world has turned into - is it not us who consist it? We have the faculty of speech, the faculty of expressing our emotions, and that is why we are the ablest of natural creation. We do not need to step back into civilization, we do not need to dehumanize in order to survive these trying times. We need to remind everyone that we all are made up of the same hydrocarbons, that we are nothing but ash. Our mortal existence is brief, and perhaps insignificant, but our ability to love is not. We have the power; we are empowered to choose whether to love or to propagate hatred. There is no throne. There never was. There are lives, millions of innocent lives, who do not want to wake up to the sound of bullets, to the massacres in the headlines or national television or in constant trepidation of annihilation. No, we wake up every day, to see the sun rise, to receive and give happiness until it sets again. We wake up, not to die, but to live, to live another day to see the world and experience it along with the joy and misery that it provides us. We, as human beings, are responsible. We are responsible to look beyond the headlines, to negate what the media is showing, to dismiss the hashtags and the virtual bubble that is diluting the actual horror. We try to seek a Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi amidst us, but why cannot we, without a leader, unite in pursuit of peace?
Why can't it be a product of love? This world mourns and comes together when a massacre is sensationalized by the media, why not make a habit out of it? Why not be compassionate every day, to everyone? We do not need to be victims of a war to be kind. We do not need the war to happen. We need love. We are all in desperate deficiency of love, and the hope that there is love. To change the world, we need to battle the hopelessness. The way to fight terror, is to hope. Our love is not only for the victims of terrorist activities that is going on for years, it is for everyone who is anxious about what is happening to our world. There is hope, I assure you. We are each other’s hope.
Humour Me is not asking for much, only that we find the strength to stand in solidarity. We aim to rouse empathy, and we aim you sing along.