Live together as brothers or perish together as fools
A person who was injured but survived the massacre at Suruç, Loren Elva, said, “I am not well; I will not be well.”
We do not have to be well.
But we need to be brave to be able to continue living as a human being in a place where the everyday topic is death and to be able to find an answer to the question “Is peace possible?”
We have to be able to see that religions containing the state in them and states containing religion in them are obstructing peace, dividing humanity.
We have to face the fact that governments are not able to provide peace in this state of affairs; that they are a reflection of us actually.
We should first put out the fire inside us.
While a portion of people felt a deep sorrow about Suruç, another portion did not even come near pain. Or they did not show the required respect. The same goes for the two slain police officers.
It was the same in the political arena also. A party leader, having received 16 percent of the votes of the people, has questioned “the goals and methods of those who set out with the excuse of Kobane.”
The government spokesman said it was meaningful that no Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) executives were present at the scene of the attack - as a matter of fact, a member of the HDP party assembly and her son were among the victims.
How many times have we been saying this? Even our pain has been divided.
Yet, pain is one; the pain of one person is the pain of all humanity.
As long as we limit ourselves emotionally to one group, to one political party, to a sect, we will not be able to understand this. No war will end, which does no good but only generates pain.
Peace is only possible when we feel the pain of another. For this to happen we have to distance ourselves from the information given, from judgements… We have to be brave to confront the pain, the uncertainty, the misery, the unhappiness, the conflict and the hate.
It is significant that Loren Elvan was able to make thousands of people say, “I will not be well.” Because in order to be able to confront all this, one should refrain from fooling oneself, which will make one eventually “not feel quite well.”
There is evil and also violence in the truth. Non-violence is a part of violence. When we are going through that, no, we will not be well.
Now, everybody is explaining the ways of non-violence everywhere. There are tons of words flying in the air; one of them is “security.”
We all know indeed that the word “security” is pronounced loudly in places where there is a lot of fear and that it is the extension of the politics of fear.
How was this fear, this need for security born? What made us experience today’s pain?
It was discrimination. It was the nurturing and fueling of discrimination beyond the borders.
We may not be able to eliminate violence all together but we may minimize it. This is only possible, at this stage of affairs, by eliminating the discrimination inside us.
More than half of the parliament has no intention of doing that, this is very clear. Well, then we will make it. We will not allow those who are ruling the country in our name to nurture discrimination. Either they will have to change as we change or new ones will arrive to replace them.
One thing is certain: as long as we do not eliminate the discrimination inside us, our religions and our politicians will look like us and the conflict, the clash will never end.
We have to learn to live with our own values, our principles and our own style.
Moreover, we have to defend that others live with their own values and principles.
When we live the way a pressure group wants us to live, then our pride is trodden and we are less human.
If everyone can be as free as they can, then discrimination will become dysfunctional and disappear.
If we really want peace, then we should start by sewing the patch we have inside. This may be difficult in the short term but in the medium term, we have no other option.
Besides the cliché of “national unity and togetherness,” we must learn to live together as brothers…
Or as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “perish together as fools.”