The other I , Shuddhashar

The Other I

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Do not insult the gods you neither believe in nor did not know about. 

We have been becoming adults through our long journey on this earth; the first human was killing to survive, and he or she didn’t know that the others were him or her.  It was a fear of difference. 

It’s quite a pity that as adult human beings we still have war in our lives, although now we know about each other.

Have you ever asked yourself why we let others control how we think even though we have a brain like them?

We were born free and don’t know anything, but we learn from society, from media, from leaders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

No one is born ugly, but most of us didn’t have a real chance to learn how to be a human being.

Life is aimless without each other. We don’t know why we are on this journey; it could be that we did not chose this journey. This aimlessness puts us in fear, and we have two ways to respond to this situation: the first way is to create art and become as a god by creation, the other way is to be killers like god by creating death.

The killing will stop not through the legal system; the killing will only stop when we protect our humanity, when we see ourselves and others as part of that humanity. 

But we tend to choose the easier path. We think that when we give permission to others to control us, that means we already had a strong belief that they will do the best for us and will protect our lives. Because of that trust, our brains take a vacation, and then the leader starts promoting fear of others via media and other manipulative methods. 

No one teaches us how to be a human being or to accept others as they are. They taught us only to build strong borders surrounding our countries – around areas that have long existed naturally without borders.  

They taught us only how to call others by group names, such as migrant, refugee, terrorist, and Arab. No one taught us what “human being” means. 

We must guard against our mind’s tendency to view people as one generalized category because we are all more than that. Although we might have had similar backgrounds or suffering, each one of us has a different situation. We have different names we got at our birth, and only these names – not the larger categories – fit us.

We are all individuals, but we are one circle of humanity. We are reflected in each other, and the differences among us is a natural and important part of our humanity. If you easily dare to kill your brother or sister, we will lose our humanity. We are not in a game of winner and loser. If one part is injured, all lives suffer.

In the 21st century, the methods for killing is easier and more efficient. It is understandable that we are still killing each other when the media is teaching us how to see the other as an enemy.

In this case the pain does not make changes; we must practice how to be a human being. 

We must remember that we need each other to live in peace. We have enough resources for all of us, and the space of land is enough for our journey.

Life will not be healthy without our many colors and cultures and languages and habits. These differences are part of our journey together. If you dare to kill part of colorful existence, you will not extinguish the color of life. Life will not stop, but the killer’s humanity will end.

Every place that has experienced a massacre is a wound in our humanity.  The terrorist has no religion or color. Its desire for violence is created by the media and leaders, which cause us to lose our trust in each other. 

It is not true that the borders give us our identity; our identity only exists in our humanity as brothers and sisters.

Do not let others control your mind. Give yourself and your soul time and space to think about what is the good and what is the wrong. Not everything we are taught is right. Life fits all of us, so let us share it.

Open your mind to differences, and the humanity will open your borders.

Think twice before you try to obtain a weapon to fight the other or defend your border. This life will give you back what you already gave.

You needed someone to give you birth and you will need someone to bury you. You need the other in your life.  

You need the other you.

Stop killing.


Art image credit: Reem Yasouf

Kholoud Charaf is a Syrian poet, art critic and current ICORN resident in Krakow, Poland. She won 2018 “Ibn  Battuta ” prize.

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