I returned home safely tonight from a wonderful few days in New York. As I have written in previous posts, I love to travel, and I also try to see the best in every person I meet. Everywhere I have traveled I have come across some of the most kind, friendly, generous people, from New Zealand to Hong Kong to New York to London.
I firmly believe that a large majority of people across the world are just that – kind, friendly and generous. They want to live and raise their children in a world where they feel safe, where they can succeed and where they can love and be loved.
But I am also not ignorant – I know that there are many people in this world who are hateful, angry and murderous. History has shown us just how terrible humanity can be, as millions of people have been killed through the centuries in the name of nationalism, racism and religion.
So why is it any different in 2017? Is it because those of us living in the West felt safe at restaurants and concerts and that false sense of security has been shattered? Is it because we live in a time with mass media, where hatred can be spread quickly and efficiently through the Internet and social media? Or do we see a new kind of fanaticism emerging in our societies, that is rooted in a twisted interpretation of sacred texts?
I don’t have an answer to this question, and I believe this and other questions are on the minds of many people across the world. How can someone blow himself up outside a concert hall that is packed with young girls and women? How can anyone drive a vehicle through a crowd of people enjoying an evening out? How can someone pull out a gun and shoot and murder people dancing at a night club?
These questions often haunt me, and if I allowed it, they would overtake my thoughts. I can’t allow it and I won’t allow it. I am going to focus on the kind, friendly, generous people I have met around the globe who, like me, are trying hard to see the best in everyone. If the majority of people can do that, then in the words of France’s new President, Emmanuel Macron, we can “make our planet great again.”