Yesterday I read that 16,000 Syrians have been killed since March 2011. This number represents 16,000 dreams, potential ideas, children, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, all lost in the face of ignorance. I don’t know any of these people but I do know that each beating heart deserved to be alive had they been given the chance to live out their full potential.
While I walk down the beautiful flower filled streets of Vancouver, violence and murder rages on the streets of Syrian capital, Damascus. How is this at all fair? Vancouver is perhaps not a “perfect” place for everyone but for all I know, I am given the chance to live my life at its fullest and to me that is the greatest gift ever. I have a choice to live my life in whichever way I choose. Syrians, and many others around the world, do not have this choice and this reality is deeply troubling.
How do we let power, politics and profit get in the way of saving lives? Do we have to wait for another 16,000 to be killed in Syria to put an end to the killings? When all is said and done, it does not matter what your religion, culture, heritage, gender is, we all have the same organs, same wishes, and same needs. We all want to be loved. I whole-heartedly believe that if we stop searching for each other’s differences, the world will respond. Remember, borders and alliances are socially constructed dividers. If we all ultimately face the same fate, how is it that we seem to think we are so different not to help each other?
When we stop searching and analyzing each other’s differences, we will learn that we all have similar goals and dreams. If only we can begin to think, dream, and plan together, we can put the hatred, power and violence behind us. Improving international relations and erasing our man-made borders today will allow future generations to thrive and prosper tomorrow. We have to work together as a cohesive team to set the world up for success.
I know you are thinking it’s too late. But if we think it’s too late, what’s the point of our existence? What’s the point of pro-creation? Are we that short-sighted? No, I don’t believe so.
It is time to speak up and own up. We, human beings, are not that different. That stranger you see on the bus every day. That young Egyptian woman fighting for her rights on the street. That old man begging for money on the street corner. That rich lawyer driving the Bentley. On the outside, these people may appear very different, but if we allow ourselves to take a look at the world from the balcony view, we may realize that we are more similar than different. On various levels, all those people are searching for the same thing; to belong and to be loved.
If we can own up to this as individuals, as organizations, as communities and as nations, then we can realize the immense potential our world has. I am only one person, and I need you, and the guy next to you, and the girl behind him and everyone else to look at the world beyond our borders and differences. We CANNOT lose another 16, 000 Syrians to realize that we are all the same in the end.
By Sonja Be