A negative tide

With the terrible bombings in Spain on Thursday 11th March, the world continues to watch as an unknown evil force unleashes its destructive power. With many affected both physically and mentally, a view of resilience and defiance to the terrorists was shown the next day. Over 11 million people, approximately 25% of the Spanish population took part in a march. Today’s worry is still the uncertainty that surrounds who was responsible for such a deadly act.

Early investigations reveal that possibly mobile phones may have been used to detonate each bomb. Their use at peak commuter times has caused maximum devastation. It’s ironic that an everyday communication device has been used to transmit a signal of death.

Communication is a term often used in business to describe the need to bring people together under a common cause or simply inform them of direction. However, communication is now out of control. Clarity amongst the fog of finger-pointing, labelling, inconsistent past polices and truth distortion by some of the perpetrators of evil has become difficult. Killing is correctly condemned. Unfortunately agents of evil also exist to capitalise on the situation. I remember just after the September 11th 2001, bombing, Sikhs were encouraged to communicate their American settlement to ensure that everyone knew that Sikhs had no connection to the situation. Unfortunately Balbir Singh lost his life from an ignorant individual.

At a time where people need to spend more time understanding each other, through direct dialogue and appreciation of our diversity, instead the potential seed of alienation is being planted by the terrorists. The minority element that are causing havoc are unaware of the ripple effect that they are causing to themselves. The terrorists believe that their struggle can only be communicated through a route of killing the innocent. This is clearly short-minded, short-lived and unacceptable.I read one report of a husband that was to start his first day at a new office. On the morning of 11th March he decided to board one of the Spanish trains so that he would arrive early and create a good first impression. Little did he know that the trip he would take would be his last? His wife had kissed him goodbye in the morning, yet by evening was frantically searching for him. There are unfortunately other tales that are just as saddening. Any killing creates a negative ripple effect.

Somebody recently questioned the purpose of writing articles, suggesting ideas and making people aware of issues – basic communications. The central question is: does writing down ideas or suggestions actually help further assisted towards a joint solution? The pen in its own way is quite mighty. Ideas can be expressed and analogies can help people understand and introduce empathy with a situation. ‘People understanding people’ is only one of the steps to understanding and resolving problems. However, with violence for the sake of violence, the only result is the escalation of the number of people being killed.

We need to collectively stand-up and suggest that further killing are unacceptable. Let us suggest a free talk zone. Here intellectuals, those with grievances and representing parties could be brought together to be educated in the perils of war. For example, orphans, mine field injuries, broken families, economic stress and personal injury stories. A realisation then may result in the pointlessness of terror campaigns. The conditions for attendance would be the immediate ceasing of any violence and the establishment of joint terms of reference for dialogue and resolution management. The recent events in Madrid show that Mankind has learnt little to nothing over the years, regarding ways of peaceful problem resolution strategies. Let’s now try to empower people to stop the terrorists and then get sensible people together with specialist advisers and panels to broker peace.

Categories: 2004

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