In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, many have commented on the episode in our newspapers. Most of it is focused on the question of the extent of freedom of expression, and responsible journalism, especially when the discourse has to do with religion in the context of our own multi-religious ethos. Not surprisingly, of course, there is an outright condemnation of the terrorist attacks. Even on social media discussion, there is overwhelming agreement that the attacks cannot be condoned, let alone justified, and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. A far more divisive discussion, is whether or not Charlie Hebdo had somewhat provoked the situation by its disrespectful satire of religion. Many seem to follow the line of thinking that freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequence or freedom from responsibility, and that if one decides to pull the tiger’s tail often enough, at some point in time, the tiger is bound to bite back. Having said t
Showing posts from January, 2015
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“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul... Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” - G. K. Chesterton. It is often said that New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. I certainly hope that is not true of us. I do believe that it is a good time to make some simple resolutions. Since people do not care about what we know until they know that we care, it is good to resolve to walk the talk. It is cheap to talk about values without practising them. This New Year I resolved to practice good neighbourliness even as we promote it as a movement. A friend of mine who manages a cleaning company created a calendar for 2015 with a series of cartoons. It is titled “Kindness and Consideration” . It occurs to me that that is precisely how we can practically show care to our neighbours.