On signs above passionate defenders of personal expression, JE SUIS CHARLIE said it all. We are Charlie! We believe words have power! We believe words have more value than guns! We believe democracy is the moral high ground. We celebrate creative spirits. We stand with signs under night skies after the gun powder has settled and are one with those who sacrificed everything to pen truth, ambiguities, humor, and our shared, human experience. JE SUIS CHARLIE.
Writers are strange, curious, thinking people. Some break lead penciling rage and stirring hate. Others inspire with the rhythm and rhyme of verse. In a few instances, a writer divines a great truth.
We read cartoons because the truth is easier to digest with humor and perspective. Charlie Hebdo scripted their view of the world regardless death threats and property damage. Heroes sometimes lift pens rather than guns and wear the arms of children around their waists rather than ammo belts.
Words are implied responsibility. Just as carrying a gun is action – life or death, threat or defense; writing is action – life or death, threat or defense. Words create law, rally against unjust administration of the law, and connect our conscience to the principles of justice balanced with mercy/understanding.
Teachers and parents say, “Use your words.” The child midst tantrum pounds fists against the flesh of the person in charge, releases tears from wide eyes, and kicks wildly until pain is inflicted. Adults raising their fists and guns, wide-eyed but not seeing, and inflicting pain on the innocent may be unredeemable.
Peace will only be achieved when we learn to use our words. Thinking adults must have the discipline to use their words without rage and speak the universal language of peace. In some states, work environments and families, defending peace and solution-based reasoning rather than rage and guns is a brave undertaking. The culture of violence and lack of compromise is too often the politics of government and interpersonal relationships. Movies and television celebrate winning more than integrity.
Teachers and parents have the power to create peace by teaching children to think and speak resolution and acceptance as they heap unconditional love on tender hearts.
There is hope in the world because people carry signs to remind us of unity and freedom. JE SUIS CHARLIE.