Opinion

Intolerance: an eye for an eye, a life for a death

On Earth, we are given the chance to live out our human existence. Given this fragile and temporary stopping place in what should be a journey for enlightenment and inner peace, it is astounding that so much evil and strife exists in and between human beings.

Life, an adventure of varying pleasures, is already short-lived in comparison to what may be an infinite death. Our lives are a one-time event of choices and decisions too often cut short by tragedy committed by fellow human beings.

We are all human beings, and like all species, we have varieties. Our variations create likes, dislikes and ideas of superiority among some. Though we bleed, laugh, cry, eat, sleep, reproduce and produce waste, our minor variations have come to prevail over our oneness as human beings. For those who insist on maintaining differences above similarities, beware, because this attitude creates hatred, conflict and death.

Differences too often create unnecessary violence. In a world dominated by violence, it is often difficult to locate peace and kindness in our lives made easier through modern conveniences and our nation’s wealth. Many allow the trivialities of their lives to irritate instead of comfort them while forgetting the larger concerns of humanity and the planet. The plight of starvation, war, global warming, AIDS and nature’s fury ought to make any other minor problem insignificant. The desire for endless extravagance is used as a poultice for the mental suffering that captivates those of us living in this society.

We live in a society where the power brokers of our civilization solve conflicts by engaging in conflicts; ending lives is redemption for lives already lost. We place other men, women and the young in harmful situations when non-violent alternatives appear futile. We profess courage and loyalty when lives are lost for what is professed a noble cause. The men and woman who sacrifice their lives for the well-being of others are undeniably brave; cowards are those who give the orders on pretenses and lies. If leaders of today begin to make decisions based on the philosophy of kindness, we will start the process of shaping a world of compassion and understanding; one free from prejudices with concern for the planet and the life on it.

If we begin with harmless speech and understanding and begin to fight fire with water, instead of more fire, perhaps we will realize our struggle through life is shared by all. By not helping one another ease through this life, we get caught in a whirlwind of negativity. As people engage in actions that bring harm to others, they make their lives harder as well.

Sadly, we often use man-made weapons instead of our voices. When all human beings begin to realize that thoughts, speech and actions of hatred, intolerance and violence are a two-way transaction, perhaps then we will engage in what benefits everyone equally. Until human beings begin to value life as much as we profess we do, we will continue to send messages of hypocrisy to our younger generation.

Sam Rega can be contacted at s.rega@umiami.edu.

October 11, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.