After a bit of reflection I asked myself whether I had the right to criticize the French for their burqa ban when I live in a country that didn't really have any issues with jailing Muslims from foreign countries in secret prisons without any evidence and subjecting some of them to torture. Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes from H.L. Mencken:
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."I don't care where you live, if you aren't at least partially ashamed of your government than you are either not paying attention to what your government is doing or you are the supreme ruler of said government. Every government sets the rules for it's people and every citizen can think of at least one rule they don't agree with. If anything unites us, it is this: we all think the people in power make too many mistakes and we would all live in better countries if people just used a little common sense.
This train of thought has led me to a very cosmopolitan worldview. Definitely not because it's fashionable, either. As the world has shrunk, certain segments of our populations have tried to accentuate our differences in order to either gain, or retain, power. Whether it is Iranians declaring the United States the Great Satan or Americans condemning Muslims as enemies of liberty, someone is always trying to score points off of someone else. The reality is that none of us are really all that different. We all need to eat, sleep, shit and make the sweet, sweet love.
According to Google Analytics, I've had visitors to this blog from 67 different countries and I have probably read blogs from people in nearly half as many. Do you know what I've learned? For the most part we're all sick of dealing with bullshit. We try to do our best. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. It doesn't matter if you're from America or Algiers, you share more similarities than differences with everyone else in the world. My hope is that as the world continues to shrink we will begin to realize this more and more. Call me a foolish optimist if you like, but the evidence is right in front of you. You're literally staring into a window that lets you see the whole world, and for the most part, if you open your eyes you'll like who you see. Unless they have horrible grammar, then you should feel free to make snide remarks.
Image taken from here: http://www.ecoglobe.ch/sustain/e/shri6n15.htm