Who’s that? Who are the citizens of the world? Who came up with this concept? Other than the fact that Einstein believed himself to be one.
I was strolling along Darling Harbour in Sydney a few months ago and was ducking a million tourists stopping unannounced, capturing another image of this picturesque spot. It was like a strolling version of bumper cars. Inevitably I ended up almost colliding with a very, petite, young, short, little man who considered himself untouchable. I’m sure he didn’t even notice me, but who would, I’m only carrying 190 pounds (ok, 200) on a 6″4′ frame.
He was wearing a bright orange t-shirt with the words “Citizen of the world” in big black letters. That got me thinking…which is always, life-threateningly dangerous.
What does it really mean? Perhaps it defines a person who has travelled to a hundred countries? Or maybe a person who has lived in a thousand? Or the millions who loves to travel? Maybe it’s an Einstein-like intellectual who perceives political boundaries as an evolutionary flaw. Who would you consider “A Citizen of the World?”
A person who has bucket loads of tolerance…
(Mind-blowing right? Sometimes I even surprise myself.)
T O L E R A N C E. Eight letters. Oh wait, that’s nine. Nine letters, but a single life changing ideal. Let us add more depth to this piece with the help of a dictionary. (Even though I’m already at free-diving level!) Tolerance is:
the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.
Or if you want my version:
The ability to accept everything/anything that mankind can dish up. Not agreeing or supporting or even encouraging those variety of meals, just devouring it without complaint, like a hungry homeless person. It’s having an understanding that every person on earth has the right to do whatever the hell they want too. And then reacting, by NOT judging.
John Lennon wrote and sang Imagine. Imagine, if you will, *don’t close your eyes, for then you won’t be able to read, and then you won’t know what to imagine* a world where every person had an unlimited source of tolerance. This would imply a world where everyone is high. On something strong, like heroine. Because that’s the only way modern people will accept everything that humanity conjures. All the weird and wonderful creatures running around, disguised as humans. Accepting all our strange behaviour, oddities, the weird beliefs. Allowing people to be what they want to be, even if it borders on insanity. Like those who want to turn themselves into tigers or other versions of coloured drawings. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
By saying yes, it inadvertently means that we should stand idly around with a stoned-hippie attitude, watching a few sicko’s ruining life for all of us. Tolerating the senseless, brutal killing of countless dolphins by Japan. And the execution of Rhino for the sole purpose of stripping their horns, so some Asian guy can get it up in the morning? Or what about something more severe like the thousands of useless adults who continue abusing children? Or the million-plus pathetic men who hit woman? What about all those twisted people who in the name of religion, promote violence and terrorism?
May we never have a smile-and-wave-attitude about everything.
In the end, by my own definition, I’m probably NOT a citizen of the world. I may have a tolerance level, but it is capped by my ethics, beliefs and standards. My perception of what is right and wrong. And once that ticks over, I will raise my voice. I mean who can ignore Miley Cyrus turning into a whore right there on Youtube? We need to speak out and have an opinion. Freedom of speech y’all.
In the end, where do we stand on this? Where do we draw the line on tolerance? Do we even dare to draw a line?
Yes. The world can definitely do with a LOT more tolerance. We have become a sceptic, cynical, judgemental bunch of earthlings. We judge too soon. We discriminate. We need to work on that.
And No. Turning a blind eye to all the shit that’s going on around us, is another major flaw of modern man. We can’t afford to have a live-and-let-live-attitude about our civilization. If someone’s value system allows them to f:-)ck bunnies or hurt an innocent human, let’s judge.
Let’s talk about it and NOT tolerate that kinda shit.