A beautiful letter that nearly made me cry
I nearly cried after reading the open letter written by Luc Besson. Here, finally, were words written so beautifully, with full empathy of the situation instead of the global rage ‘circus’ that i feel drives most of the responses i read on my timeline these last few weeks.
His words expresses and mirrors my deep sadness for my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters who are marginalised all over the world. The majority are bravely trying to continue their daily lives in the face of these challenges but because of the actions of a few, the whole population is judged and humiliated.
Sometimes we see what we want to see and we seize into whatever preconceived notions we already have. From terrorist headlines, mass murder based on religious/racist lines to minor news about a scandalous action (like the baju kurung incident today which may have more to it than the story). These are usually the actions of a few individuals, barely 1% of the population, but yet these are the ones we use to gasp and mock with glee.
Do we seize on these headlines to confirm our already existing preconceptions? Do we use them to confirm our innermost fears – “See, i know these people are corrupt”; “These people are trying to take over the country”; “These people are so different; they don’t belong here”; “Should i just get the hell out of this country?!”
Instead, can we be more empathic and not so “buruk sangka“? Can we see through our usual stereotypes and not rush to judge or give a verdict?
Unfortunately, there will always be a social underclass with systemic disparity and underprivileges, people who are different than you and were not so fortunate to think the way you do. They are insecure about their position in life so they may do wrong, either because they don’t see a way out or they have never been taught any better. At heart they may feel marginalised, abandoned and mistreated.
This generation has the opportunity to learn how to help leave the world a fairer and more tolerant place. And that starts with having a little humility, recognise that you don’t know the whole story and that you have a duty to help make things better. Start NOW.