A short video by Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide got me thinking today of how powerful words can be. A very thought provoking line he conveyed was that hate crimes never happen by themselves, violence never happens by itself, wars don’t happen by themselves- they are most often preceded by hate speech.
Hate speech builds bitterness and over time it results in extreme ideas and opinions that don’t just remain that. They have led to genocides, falling of empires, horrifying crimes and more. Everything around the world, the rising extremists, the death of unity, the hurt and the countless lives lost started off first with hate-speech. Millions of people around the world are in need of humanitarian assistance. They are in need of hope, a hope that the future may be different. When we look around we see Good Samaritans being the band aid to the world, but wouldn’t it be better if we could prevent the injury instead?
If we can let words of hatred cloud our judgement and lead us into our own graves, we are also very much capable of doing just the opposite. The prisons we live in are made by our own restricted thinking and we refuse to set ourselves free. We must be willing to educate ourselves, and more importantly the budding generation. We need to stop attacking religion, nationality, colour, gender. History and the current situation around the world are proof of the terrible consequences this can have.
When we are independent in our thoughts, when we learn to be more empathetic and empower our children to be the same only then will we have achieved true independence.
Words have the power to create another holocaust; words have the power to create tranquility. What we pick, is entirely up to us!
This Independence Day let's resolve to free ourselves of this negativity, hatred and bigotry!
- Leha Divakar
@literaryleha on Twitter