miércoles, mayo 10, 2006


Not too long ago, it was thought that only humans were capable of empathy. And that that, besides a superior intelligence, the ability of walking upright, and the ability to speak, was what made us different from animals. Then, they discovered dolphins have that ability too. That means they can get in the other shoes and feel sad or happy if the other is sad or happy, or they may even act clowny if the other is sad, so it cheers up. That, if you think about it, is unbelievable.
From that point, from empathy, I had an idea from something I heard the other day. Someone said that if we were a Palestinian whose house has been destroyed, his father, mother, little brother and pregnant wife have been slaughtered by Israelis, it would be comprehensible if he tied up a bomb around himself and blow himself up to pieces in the public Israeli square (and that anybody in that situation could actually do it).
What happens then? What do you think when somebody, whoever, butchers your family in front of your very eyes? How do you feel when somebody who thinks is beyond good and evil, who thinks he's much better than you, leaves you with no job, home or family? When a country is in a war for whatever reason, situations, circumstances and points of view change for those who are involved. But let's think about it from the perspective of someone like us, who lives fairly well, has food on his table everyday, makes a living and pretty much only worries about what interest rate has its mortgage.
Couldn't we imagine, remotely, that person's frustrations? Couldn't we feel that same desire of revenge? Because sometimes we may think that they do it because of something bigger, more important, in behalf of a god who's promised them a better life. But in fact they're just seeking revenge, they feel they don't have anything else to lose, they may even hope that that little thing mean something, make things change.
Well, I wonder with the culture we have (at least in Spain), with the values our parents have taught us, what would happen if we were the girlfriend or wife of that person that's gonna tie up a bomb around his body and blow himself up? How would we feel? Would we try to stop him? Would we think he's a hero or a martyr? What would happen if, after doing something like that, his outrageous act didn't have any effect whatsoever on anybody but you?
I know it's a tricky subject and I'm pretty sure nobody, at least none of us, who live in houses, safe in our negotiating country, paying our mortgages and buying stuff we don't need, would want to think about what would that person feel, or about the suffering of others or, even less, consider whether we would do the same, even though it's something dreadful.
The very same word indicates you have to go to the end, to the extreme, and we all know extremes aren't good. But if we link that to something closer to us (only because we all know someone who knows someone who's been victim of a terrorist act), let's think about (even though the path taken here has been totally different and the situation is not even close as to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. But let's just think about the violent part of it) how many times those victims might have thought of taking vengeance at some point. It's in our nature. We are aggresive, we have violence within ourselves, and even though we may consider ourselves very peaceful, I think we would never know for sure what our reaction would be if something extreme happened to us. Let's hope that doesn't happen...

La memoria de las flores © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates