Anger and tolerance don’t mix

Anger and tolerance don’t mix. Yet as a French citizen who moved to the UK more than a decade ago, I feel a bit betrayed and consequently, although not justifiably, angry.

I loved the idea of a united Europe that would lead the world in terms of environment, human rights and social justice, to show the way of a new “possible”.  I never was blind to the fact that the model developed was more economic than anything else but I hoped it would evolve toward a more social vision of the union of European Countries. The UK leaving is a blow to that dream.  I understand the fears that motivated this move but feel it’s a wasted opportunity for a more fraternal and environmentally friendly world.

Immigration is perceived as one of the main reasons why the UK is leaving but, like the rest of Europe, it needs migration for a variety of reasons (NHS, making sure the pension system doesn’t collapse, qualified and unqualified labour…) but maybe more to the point, a multicultural society is surely a good model for the future and far more fun than a completely and boringly homogeneous nation.

Tolerance is a mind-set

Tolerance is a mind-set. In no case does it mean that you agree with everything and that you instantly become a “yes-person” always seeking to please and appease. The motto “my freedom starts where yours stops” doesn’t apply to tolerance but there is definitely a give and take principle determining the boundaries of one’s of tolerance.

To me it is more like having a sense of values, a sort of measuring stick by which you evaluate ideas and actions.  Democracy, by no means a universal notion,  is really a tool of great importance to insure tolerance in society and as such, has to be protected at all cost.

Visit to Hades (partial view)

Community and shared values

It sometimes looks like our sense of community and shared values is fast disappearing. It feels we are living in times of crisis when politicians threaten to shut down parliament or defy congress.  We need  to cherish democracy and its instruments and not forget about the alternatives.  More than that, we need to look beyond the horizon of our borders and build supra-national friendships not only based on trade, but also on culture and sharing.  We need to weave links and relationship across the world.Today’s quotes on the fragment of poster are:

“I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.”
― Thomas Jefferson

“No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity.”
― Maajid Nawaz, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

Tolerance and living in society

Tolerance is a key concept in being able to live in society ad allowing society to evolve.  In that respect, the human figure is treated as a symbol of humanity rather than a description of individuals.   It is there to remind us that what unites us is stronger than what divides us.  The works seeks to demonstrate an engagement with the world in which we live and the common fate of humanity.

Here are some more quotes from my weird poster:

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
― John Lennon, Imagine

“Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.”
― Richard Dawkin

“God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”
― John Lennon

“We have to believe in free-will. We’ve got no choice.”
― Isaac Bashevis Singer

What is not to like about Jon Lennon and his quotes are great but my favourite is definitely that of Isaac Beshevis Singer, who is a fabulous writer with a dark sense of humour.