In the moment, flooded by the media, the fear of locating my friends and team in the city, the sadness of the images, living through the shock and tears, going through the what if’s…yes, that street I transit myself so often…I had little time to reflect on what just really happened. And more importantly, what my role is in order to contribute in whatever way for something like this to prevent this from happening.
So as the days slowly passed, I had more questions than answers. The Barcelona terrorist attacks were not an isolated event that “just happened”. From a systems perspective, we need to explore and analyse and get real about what causes are creating this symptom. And frankly, there are many, many which we haven’t even discussed and leave out of the discourse for convenience and sometimes because it is difficult to get real and take responsibility. So I will focus on just one that hasn’t been talked about much.
Coldly said, the fact is a group of young adults self-organised into an act they somehow believed this was their life purpose to do. The level of mind manipulation necessary to be able to drive a car and look at people’s faces and continue driving is a strong indicator of dehumanization. Yet, these terrorists are human, those that caused terror also went to school, had friends, played football, and seemed to be “human” with opportunities as others their age….
So let’s focus on one aspect of systemic failure I particularly feel responsible for: Education. How is it that in 10 years of solid education we are unable to educate on the capacity of critical thinking so that when they were being indoctrinated they could question the premises on which the arguments being used where based on? How were HUMAN VALUES expressed, how were empathy, compassion, respect, and ethics lived in the classroom? And if not at all, why are these basic HUMANITY principles still missing from curriculums? Aren’t they more important than algebra? Of course, I am not isolating education as the cause, it is one of many factors, but it is one the determinately is responsible for giving humans the tools and knowledge to be able to live a responsible adult life. Because in this case, it seems ONE individual was able to make terrorists out of youth, using certainly, many of the other system failures.
As for me, I run a company centred in education. We work with hundreds of students every year ages 18-30. What can we do? What now? At Authenticitys we want to reinforce our commitment to transmit human values, to show respect for every single person, to transmit and exemplify human qualities and skills and more importantly to be available to listen, share, observe…and to continue testing and bringing forth methods that we believe will make the next susceptible young adult question, doubt, and ultimately choose LIFE over death, choose humanity over identity, CHOOSE LOVE OVER FEAR.
So, now what? What responsibility are you taking forward? What are you going to do now?