Leonard Cohen, peace and the 2%

I don’t mean to do the same-same thing and try and get attention from other people’s misery… but within hours I was experiencing a number of things around the ‘things that separates us’ and ‘things that makes us the same and equals’… the 2% or less…

Years back I decided to leave my native country and move to Asia, one of the weightiest reasons was I had tired of peoples increasingly narrow-minded and racially biased focus on what supposedly separates us due to skin colour, religion or what ever reason people will make up just to feel it’s ok to point fingers at others instead of accepting that differences are options to learn and living an interesting life !

On that fateful Friday, I was having lunch with a lady whom I otherwise believe to be a very nice and kind to everybody personality… so my surprise was perhaps bigger when she proclaimed that her children would never be allowed to date someone who are not “Made In X” (replace x with country of birth)… she even acronym’ed it MI(x) – which really was for a lack of words – sickening.

Friday evening I met with a very good friend (who shares my particular heritage) for a burger and a glass of wine in the local neighbourhood … and my belief in people and that race or colour absolutely does not separate us was restored as Chinese, Malay and Indian heritage men and women made it a great evening … little did I know what was about to happen in the City of Love and Light which I love and have so many great memories from.

Saturday morning – and I’m out of bed early to head for a game of golf with friends… and the headlines hit me… calling friends in Paris and getting in touch with French people I know locally to check if They and Theirs are ok… it felt very different from checking on friends in Thailand after the 2004 Christmas tsunami … nature has its ways – we humans have no excuses… we just don’t !

Saturday evening I was watching the latest season of True Detective (so should you), and the title melody really caught me – Leonard Cohen is unmistakable. His song Nevermind is about war, casualties of war, religions… you get it – but mostly it’s about Peace and Tolerance !!

They play an “edited” version of Nevermind in the intro… so my surprise came when listening in full… it changed everything when this beautiful voice chanted Salaam over the as always profound words of Cohen.

Salaam as you may know means Peace… every greeting a muslim makes is a wish for peace.

I am not religious, it has never appealed to me or made any sense for me to be part of or live by a religion or specific belief. But I respect it tremendously – so much that I will not make a mockery of religion by using it for photo ops or getting attention or as a cover for my actions, and not least because it deserves respect – Period !!

We are 98% the same – regardless of origin or beliefs… and it is the 2% that makes us unique and interesting.

It is also the 2% of extra tolerance you give in a situation that makes a difference… 2% in traffic, in the grocery store, the train, sidewalk, realising that maybe this stressed and in-the-moment-obnoxious person is just having a bad day and could use 2% patience from you…

It is the 2% we can give in countless ways that will bring us closer and can help prevent the 2% who ruins it for everybody by their self serving manners and from spreading negativity and sadly death.

Imagine if we all give 2%… imagine just 2% extra tolerance towards others and the world around you, so when you need it yourself – it’s there. Imagine how this accumulation of common tolerance could take us to only needing 0.2% … 0.02% … and imagine how the number of people who feel left out, put under pressure, pushed away for being “different” will go down with it…

2% guys…

Just 2%…

Imagine that !!

And yes – I’m speaking to Me as well, we can all do better.

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