I’d like to share with you one of my many unsubstantiated, wild and crazy theories. I didn’t do any research whatsoever. The theory is based on many things, such as my own experiences, the experiences of other people I have spoken to, articles and books I have read.

So here it goes: Peace creates kind but weak people. War, unrest, and troubled times create tough but hurt and unstable people.

As the great philosopher Chris Rock once said, “Pressure makes diamonds, not hugs”. Now this might seem quite cynical, but there is so much truth in this statement. I agree with this statement but only partially. I was born and raised in a household where hugs, kisses, kind words and kindness were widespread. However, the outside world, filled with war, violence, bullying was the opposite of my household. So, I got a taste of the pressure that makes diamonds and a taste of the hugs. My life was this balancing act between the nasty stuff and the good stuff. I would say it was an interesting life and it still is.

I grew up knowing not everybody would like me, not everybody would respect me, listen to me, care for me, take care of me, or treat me with kindness. I learned those valuable lessons the hard way; when you look beige and you grow up in a country where almost everybody is dark, there will always be some people, a minority of course, who will treat you like an outsider. Those same people, a small minority, will try to mess with you mentally and psychologically, but not physically. Cowards don’t use violence anyway. Therefore, the outside world, wasn’t always kind and I had to learn to deal with the bullies, and other fucking assholes. So, that was the training I received for free. Life took care of that crucial task. Only the gods know how thankful I am for such incredibly valuable lessons.

On the other hand, I expected certain people, my people, to treat me with love, respect, patience and understanding and thank the Gods, they did. I have always been immensely well surrounded and that’s why I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world.

Here is where the story gets a bit more complicated for me. I have spent the past 20 years living in Canada, this oasis of peace, calm, order, lawfulness, stability, prosperity and frankly, the best country in the world. If it wasn’t for the harsh winter, I would call Canada a paradise, but oasis will do for now! Moreover, one of the many reasons I don’t call Canada a “paradise”, it is because of the many issues that the Canadian society hasn’t fixed or hasn’t even addressed. There is racism, violence, sexism, poverty, economic disenfranchisement, exclusion, discrimination, inequality and so much more. Basically, the problems plaguing the world also affect Canada and we are still trying to make the country and the Canadian society better. It is an ongoing battle.

The past 20 years have been quiet, peaceful. No gunshots. No war, no fear, no stress, no fear of walking outside even during these times of the coronavirus. No waking up in the middle of the night because of automatic gunshots. No dead bodies in the streets and frankly, I haven’t met any bullies, at least not the kind of bullies that make me lose sleep. I have met the occasional harmless bully, the one that shows its teeth but can’t bite for shit! Those bullies are funny, more than anything else.

So here I am, in Canada, where literally everything works, all the time. It is a great way to live, I assure you. I am blessed to be in a country where peace reigns supreme. I know tens of millions of people who aren’t half as lucky as me. I am not complaining, for real.

However, I wonder if this peaceful place hasn’t made me into a weak person. I seriously wonder that. I know I haven’t become utterly soft or weak, but I see some points of weakness in me occasionally and I don’t like that! I am afraid of becoming a dude who wouldn’t be able to defend himself if anything were to happen. I am sure I will defend myself, but the fear pops up every now and then. It leaves me wondering.  

I admit I have lost those handful “dealing with bullies” reflexes. But I am still able to tell people to go fuck themselves and that is the best weapon to have. Like I said, bullies in Canada are an unfunny joke, thank the Gods!

More importantly, I have seen people around me, change in a manner that leaves me confused and perplexed. I am actually wondering if some people have lost their toughness. Well, those people live in Canada, they don’t need the toughness we had back home, because the people and the environment are drastically different. Perhaps it isn’t such a surprise some people have lost their toughness. If you stop exercising, your muscles will atrophy, it is a natural phenomenon. As I said in the beginning, peace creates kind but weak people.

I won’t lie, this social media game, has especially created some attention-seeking, weaklings and fragile motherfuckers! They expect to be liked, respected, to be applauded. They expect their words to be gospel. They expect no contradiction, no confrontation, no resistance. It’s as if they expect people to pave the way for them. You’d think they expect people to tell them, “OMG! You are so awesome! Please walk on this red carpet because of your awesomeness! Please keep talking. Your words are amazing! Everything about you is literally great!”. As soon as they don’t get the approval they expected and the attention they think they deserve, sorrow and disappointment kick in. Yes, I will say it; if you are looking for validation through social media, you are weak. But it doesn’t mean you will always be. But in that moment, when you are craving the attention the way drug addicts seek the needle, you are fucking weak.

What’s surprising is that, the people seeking all this attention, are people who didn’t need or want this amount of attention barely a few years ago. What the fuck happened to us? How did we become so weak? How did we become so dependent on other people for validation? How the fuck did we become so weak? I have a friend who complained to me they weren’t getting enough likes! What???? A grown ass person, complaining about that. I mean how fragile does your ego have to be to think like that? What the fuck??? Come on people! We are better than that! We went through unbelievable trauma and we survived. And today, a certain number of likes, from people you don’t even know and who surely don’t give a fuck about you, are the reasons you cannot find peace? I repeat; WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO US?????

Can you imagine going through war, fear, deprivation and then coming to Canada, start anew, learning a new language, learning a new way of living, adopting new habits, growing up and simply growing, to then become so fragile and so weak because of some imaginary validation on a platform that didn’t exist 5 years ago? So, the last 20-30 years of your life didn’t matter? The only thing that matters is the time you’ve had your Instagram or Snapchat profile? I am sure Jesus is saying to himself, “I didn’t die for this shit, goddamn it! If I knew this was going to happen, I would have escaped Roman custody!”.

War made us tough, but war also gave us mental instability and slight, sometimes deep, PTSD. Peace has made us kind but weak. Yet, I love peace. I wouldn’t want my kids to experience war, but I want them to be tough. Quite the predicament, wouldn’t you say….

I guess everything comes at a price. Peace comes at the price of being weak, which is a steep price if you ask me. The alternative is being tough but kinda fucked up…War made us who are we are and peace is taking it away. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be, I don’t know. Then, we become little weaklings who can’t survive what other people are saying, as if it fucking matters. What the fuck happened to us? I am still looking for answers!

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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