Re: “I am not Charlie” by Norayr Hajian, Jan. 14.
Our world indeed does seem to need to become more loving and respectful. I thank Mr. Hajian for writing and being willing to suggest that we do need to change the hate, anger and disrespect that we often show to one another. We all get frustrated and angry from time to time, I know that I do.
Yes, as his letter suggests, free speech does also include a level of responsibility. When I was young, many years ago now, there was a phrase I used to hear, and it was “common decency.” It seems to me that the phrase was almost an unwritten line in the sand which meant that we would be respectful of each other. That is the need to treat others as we would like to be treated.
That makes sense to me. I wonder sometimes what comprises common decency nowadays, when we all see things so differently. As Mr. Hajian said in his letter, SDLqwe need to treat one another with respect. Even if we disagree. Especially when we disagree.”
I would like to thank him for his courage in writing a letter that presents a different perspective on recent issues. His letter helped me as I struggle with all the chaos of the last number of scenarios of violence all over the world – the many horrors we human beings inflict on each other, sometimes even in the name of God. Mother Teresa has said that “Each of us, in his own way, must be the Father’s love and compassion toward the world.”
Humanity needs to reach out in love, not hate and anger. Our children and grandchildren need to know that there is a better way. Otherwise we are not headed in a good direction. As Albert Einstein said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but world War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
And finally, a quote from the Buddha, “Teach this triple truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” Martin Luther King put it another way, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy… In fact violence multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars, hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”