Recently I have been reading the book "The Woman Upstairs" by Claire Messud, the story itself is absurd but it is written so beautifully that it makes you think about life and how the world functions and why is it the way it is. I haven't finished reading it but I came across a passage which just made me put down the book and ponder over why the world functions like this? Why can't it be the other way around?
"What does it mean, you see, that the first thing every American child knows about Germany is Hitler? What if the first thing you knew was something else? And maybe some people would say that now it's important, after the Second World War, it's ethical and vital that Hitler is the first thing a child knows. But someone else can argue the opposite. And what would it do, how would it change things, if nobody would be allowed to know anything about Hitler, about the war, about any of it, until first they learned about Brahms, Beethoven and Bach, about Hegel and Lessing and Fichte, about Schopenhauer, about Rilke- but all this, you had to know first. Or one thing only, the Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor, or the Goldberg Variations, or Laocoön- one of those things you had to know and appreciate before you learned about the Nazis"
Reading this bit opened my eyes. It is so true. Everything that we know or at least the first thing that we know about a nation, race, or a country is always it's negative points. If a person is from Pakistan, people will instantly think of terrorism, for Afghanistan it's Taliban, if people see a women wearing a Burkha then surely she is being oppressed, if some one is from America then surely they are here to take something from us, if it's an Indian then everything they do whether good or bad is bad, we should stay away from them, but let's not stop watching their movies.
Why do people keep doing this? Why are our history books not filled with the happy moments? With the good every nation/ country has done for each other? Why is it always about wars? Why does the media only promote negativity? Why don't they show the good work people coming from America or England are doing for the third world countries? Why don't they tell about the thousands of students from Pakistan and India who live together while studying abroad, celebrate their cultural events together and live in peace and harmony. Why don't they tell our children the reason behind women taking Burkha? Why don't people all over the world know about the great writers each country has or the musician who create melodies which touch your heart?
If we are told first of all the good there is in the world then we might not think that every individual in a country is the same. Not every person is bad. It's just a few people who create the negativity and spread it around. Maybe if we look beyond the evil things we will find things we can appreciate and those things will humanize the other nation for us and instead of fighting with each other we might be able to live in peace.
But as the next dialogue after this monologue says, this isn't how the world functions. We can talk about it, raise awareness about it but changing the entire world's thinking is a difficult task.
Published by Research Ninja