Thursday, January 8, 2015

A sad day for all of us

Today we will not talk about board games. We usually try to stay away from topics unrelated to board gaming, but the events which took place yesterday in France are too important to be overlooked. It was a sad day for all of us who saw, heard or read the news about the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.

There is no excuse for such an attack, no justification. Only compassion.

This blog, just like any other blog, magazine, radio or TV station, podcast, videocast, etc is a living proof of  the freedom of expression, a fundamental right which many of us sometimes take for granted. 

Very few of you reading these lines were born in a country where the freedom of speech is something you have to fight for, but a small minority, including myself were born in a place where this basic right did not exist. I was too young to remember much about the Romanian revolution of 1989, but what I do remember that one thing changed over night - our right to state our opinions out loud without the fear of the political police or any other kind of police. The price of this freedom was paid in blood.

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source: Twitter @jean_julien
Yesterday, people from Charlie Hedbo magazine, from writers to policemen, lost their lives in a mindless attack against themselves and their core beliefs - the liberty of expression. Besides mourning for them, there is one thing that any of us can do - no matter how far away we are -  to prevent this from ever happening again. Whether in a public gathering, talking to our friends or on our social networks, we can use our words to defend our freedom of speech - not only ours alone but also of those who are the public message carriers, who put themselves in the spot light so that we can speak freely whenever and wherever we want.

We should all be aware that someone, somewhere is fighting not for a cause, but against all of us who choose to live in a free world. Yesterday's events have nothing to do with religion or politics. We should not condemn a belief system, a nation or an ethnicity for the horror which took place in Paris, Fighting back with the same weapons, stigmatizing an entire group of people for the madness of few would not make us any better than them. 

Our weapons are much more sophisticated and a lot less deadly. We can remember those who fought with their pen and paper for their (and inherently our) freedom of speech and defend this basic right which will always make our countries part of the free world. We can speak against racism, religious and political intolerance and fight with words for our freedom. 


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