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Living on an island: a small world

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Childhood is certainly the most important part of your life: the part where you learn the “basics”, where you have your first friends, where you still have your innocence and where you keep the best memories (or the worst) that will affect your life as you grow up.

When I was twelve, I was living in Tahiti, a small island located in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. Small but pretty. Pretty but also ugly. Ugly but also wonderful. Living on an island was a good thing for me, as it allowed me to live “comfortably” most of the time and to escape the harsh reality of the world.

On an island, houses are either near the beaches, or towards the mountains located towards the center of the island. I was among those living near the a mountain. Islands are small, so there is a high chance you will live next to someone you already know, or live next to someone who knows a person you already know yourself. My neighbours were members of my own family. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Well, I was living in my grandmother’s house. I moved there with my mother after my parents got separated. It was an old house made of wood — the kind of house you don’t see anymore in developed countries. No door. Missing windows. The house could be described as an open house. Well the good point was that we didn’t have to worry about thieves since we knew everyone.

We were a lot to live in my grandmother’s house. Three families. One single uncle. One single aunt. One aunt who appeared from time to time. I used to spend a lot of time with my cousins — two girls younger than me. We would play a lot together, or talk about anything around the table in the living room. We would often invite other cousins living in the neighbourhood and spend time together. Football. Tennis. Cards. The number of games we played was just so great that I can’t remember all of them. The warm feeling I got back then is all I kept.

Forgetting the dead…

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Something has been in my mind for quite some time now, and its name is “Death”. Death can be quite terrifying or beautiful depending on the person who thinks about it. Many people die every single day around the world, whether it is because of wars, murders or accidents, and yet how many of them do you remember? Today’s article will be about something that awaits every dead people: Being forgotten.

We are humans, we are all mortals. Since we are all mortals, we are all living our lives while waiting for our death to come. Death has been the subject of many questions, questions that are related to what happens after we die and not being able to know that can scare us or let us imagine anything we want. But if that is the natural reaction we get when we talk about Death, what bothers me more concerns the link between the dead person and our world.

We accumulate memories over the years, some good and some bad, and those memories are what construct our entire life. Most of our memories are shared with people we meet during our life on Earth, whether they be enemies, friends, lovers, children, parents or family in general. But what happens to those memories once we die? In my opinion, those memories vanish once we die, and so those memories become useless to us. But do those memories become only useless? The answer is no. What people are the most afraid of when they think about Death is whether they are going to be forgotten or not.

If we take that factor into account, then the memories we create over the years may not be completely useless. The people we shared memories with will indeed remember the deceased because of the memories we created together. Thanks to that, the person who dies will, in a certain, stay in this world in “the heart” of those who cherished them.  But now, there is something that must be known: Nothing can be remembered eternally. If you are a common person, that is to say if you never did anything that was truly remarkable or horrible (something that was out of the ordinary, such as creating a war that changed the face of the world for example), you may not be forgotten right after your death, but once all those who remembered you personally, you will simply start to fade away, your existence will simply disappear.

You certainly think I’m wrong, I would not be surprised if that was to be the case. In our period, if we remember so many people from the past, that is only because we are blocked on the past. We are unable to move on towards an uncertain future, and so we get attached to every single thing that come from the past. But one day, there is going to be a generation who will reject the past, and move towards that future that we are afraid to embrace. And when that is going to happen, the past will simply become a faint memory.

The sad truth is that not wanting to be forgotten is simply trying to escape from the harsh truth. No matter how much you want to be remembered in this world, no matter how much effort you put into making memories to be remembered, the truth is all living beings are destined to be forgotten at some point. No one is eternal, and even super famous actors are going to be forgotten one day.

Life is nothing but a memory of the past, a story of the present and a journey towards the future, represented in the form of a book with each page representing the life of a different living being.

Is it possible to bring world peace?

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“If everyone wanted peace as much as they want a new iPhone, then there would be peace.”
― Shira Tamir

 

I came accross this quote when I was on the website goodreads and I must admit it made me laugh, because this quote is quite an interesting one.  This person combined several problems in order to suggest a solution to another problem: A way to get World Peace.

I will first explain quickly in my own way what that quote means. Today’s society is quite a materialistic one. On the one hand, we have those who produce in mass to sell as much as possible afterwards, and on the other hands, we have the consumers who buy what they want (not always for primary needs). I see quite often (and some of you must certainly see it as well) people who talk about buying the new Iphone, or a new smartphone, a new tablet or even a new computer, even though their old device is still working.  What’s more, they talk about buying a new one as if it was nothing, as if it was cheap. I do not know about the others, but when I see something like that, I always think: “If you have enough money to buy a new [enter the name of the device here] even though the one you currently have is still working, then you have enough money to do something better with it.”

Now, that “something better” refers to many things, but as an exemple to illustrate this expression,  I would take the case of the homeless in the streets.

What would be a natural reaction when a homeless asks you for money? I would say that the most natural thing people would do (even though it is quite a sad one) is to ignore the homeless asking for money, or to simply lie and say that they don’t have/carry any money. And notice that I used the word would instead of the word will. And there is a reason for that. That is because not everyone will have the same natural reaction to such a situation. As a matter of fact, some people would find it more natural to think that it is better to help a homeless instead of ignoring or lying to them. Now let’s come back to those who would rather ignore or lie to those homeless people. Among them, you will find people who won’t give even a single coin to them and yet will talk about buying a new device as if it was nothing, and yet still have their current device working. And that’s one of the situation where I would say “If you have enough money to buy a new device even though the one you currently have is still working, then you have enough money to help a homeless who only asks for a coin. It is not as if that person is asking you to give him a house to live in.”

In my opinion, the problem can usually be seen into two forms: Either people think that if they give money, the one receiving the money is going to make a bad use of it, or they think that while they are working hard to earn money (sometimes just enough to live a decent life), those homeless people try to get money while doing nothing. But I have my own little solution concerning this matter: If everyone would give a coin to every homeless they see, not only they would lose almost nothing, but the homeless would be able to get out of a terrible situation.

Now some of you would certainly say that if the homeless start to get a lot of money from people, more and more people will fake bein homeless just to get more money. I already anticipated this sort of situation, but I will keep it for another article, because this is not the subject of this article. (Remember that I was just giving an example here)

 So is it possible to bring World Peace? My answer will be yes. And there is a simple reason behind my answer: I want to believe that World Peace is possible, and I want to believe in mankind and in their ability to create a better future. If we do not even believe in ourselves, how could we even start to hope for something such as World Peace anyway?

Then how can we bring World Peace? There are many ways to bring World Peace, and the interesting quote I found on Goodreads gives some ways of doing so in itself. Do not be too selfish, because selfishness is one of the main reasons why people keep a certain distance from each other. Love everyone as if they were members of your own family, because there can be no peace if there is no love. Help people in need, and become an example to follow for the others. Another important point (and difficult to obtain) to bring peace is to have mutual trust. When there is no trust, there is no peace. Did you notice that I used the world peace  instead of World Peace. That is because you cannot achieve World Peace by yourself, nor can I, nor can anyone. Everyone has to work together in order to bring peace, and by working together and bringing each little piece of peace, we will be able to create World Peace.