I’m neither a hippy nor a young priest full of energy believing all humans could live and love happily each other, only to find it was only an illusion. However, I do wonder; what about love and compassion? Where have we lost them along the way? I don’t think Elvis Costello was asking too much in his song ‘What’s so Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?’

 

On an international level, we can barely deny that hatred is dominating. Human rights are being eroded, and except for people in organisations such as Amnesty International, it seems that things like Guantanamo Bay, chemical warfare and the nuclear threat are not things that should spark any kind of outrage. I don’t believe this is World War III, but I do think it is Cold War II.

 

However, I’d like to draw attention to our, Maltese situation, where many find it more important to find someone to hate than to love. Probably we will soon discover a market for online hate-dates who knows.

 

A couple of years ago, there was a case, in Italy where a child who was about to be kidnapped, was murdered by the blow of a spade from his kidnappers.

 

We’re all human and I can easily understand if the child’s parents and other relatives and friends who loved the innocent child felt some strong feeling for revenge, wishing the perpetrator would be locked forever possibly with constant torture. Their emotions are deeply wounded; someone murdered their son just because he annoyed him crying.

 

What I find a bit disturbing is the fact, that when the news hit Malta and was featured on Xarabank, many people expressed a scary amount of hatred and a need for revenge. The common sentiment was ‘kieku jiena ntertaqhom bicciet’ (if it was up to me I’d tear them to pieces). I think this is scary due to the fact that these people had nothing to do with the case. They did not know the child. They were not emotionally involved. Hatred is a bad and dangerous feeling; however, while it’s only normal for the parents to feel it, I could not understand how complete strangers could feel such an urge for revenge.

 

Yesterday, I was reading an online article on The Times of Malta and was amazed at the comments many people were sending. The issue was that a person uploaded material with his former girlfriend having sex and the girl took legal action against him. Fair enough, but it seems those commenting on The Times really missed the point, probably on purpose. The former couple happened to be Gozitans and instead of discussing issues such as privacy and data protection, ethics and what should be the stand taken by the law, the discussion turned out like an online war between Maltese and Gozitans. I sent a couple of comments trying to divert the discussion back to the fact that someone breached the privacy of another person and this was not acceptable. My comments were ignored. Everyone seemed to be enjoying an orgy of hatred towards people who happen to be on a rock instead of another.

 

Some village feasts have become a battle ground. I support this saint and I’m willing to kill if it needs to! I wonder whether the saints themselves could understand the concept or even more approve it.

 

When African migrants started coming to Malta I was struck as to what extent people could hate others because of a different nationality, culture or colour of the skin. (I’m not referring to those wary of many African migrants, but to those completely indifferent and talk about migrants with a venomous tongue). Now I can understand. We just 400,000 people could not even stand each other for minor differences, how can we behave as human beings towards people whose differences are more wide.

 

What’s so funny about peace love and understanding? I have not heard any answer that actually made me laugh.

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