#ToastYourFlaws: a fun but effective way to acknowledge yourself

The previous post I wrote was about the importance of expressing oneself in order to prove one’s own existence to the world and to acknowledge oneself. But I only focused it on the physical aspect and put aside the virtual aspect of expressing oneself. Although it can be difficult to express oneself verbally, it is much more easy to do it online, and especially through social media such as Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram.

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A letter for the world regarding conflicts and violence

Dear citizens of the world,

The world as we know it is slowly falling into the bottomless pit of destruction and despair. Terrorism. Wars. Territory disputes. Sadness. Hatred. Division. 2016 has been a terrible year for the entire planet.

From wars to terrorist attacks, from terrorist attacks to more personal attacks, many are those who suffered the consequences of those acts. Families lost people who were dear to them, cities in which they lived, and even worse – Hope.

From those horrifying acts emerged sadness, emptiness and hatred. From those horrifying acts using weapons and violence, rivers of blood are shed and lead to more rivers of blood. From those horrifying acts, misunderstanding becomes more and more strong, and the gap between people keeps getting bigger.

I ask you, dear citizens of the world, why do you have to use violence to defend your point? Why do you have to use violence to spread an idea? Why do you have to use violence to dispute the control of a territory?

We did not evolve as humans. We evolved as monsters. We did not truly evolved ourselves. We evolved our weapons. That is right, what separates us is not a so-called intelligence hidden behind our primitive instincts. What separates us is merely the means we use to resolve our conflicts. In other words, we came to a point where the only real thing that separates us from animals is our weapons.

But why do we have to use weapons or violence as a mean to solve conflicts? It does not solve anything, it just creates new conflicts to replace the old ones. More importantly, using weapons and violence in general will not allow understanding – which is one of the fundamental keys of peace and democracy.

Now call me an idealist, an optimist, a dreamer or even a crazy person, but I believe that violence and weapons are not needed to solve conflict, and in fact, using a different approach would improve our situation greatly.

I believe that instead of violence and weapons, we could use games. Why games specifically?

First of all, I would like to mention the fact that I am talking about games in a broad way. What I mean by a game in this context is a competitive activity, including sports, in which players fight against each other according to a set of rules.

Whether it is a card game or even a video game, a singing contest or even a tennis match, I believe them to be a better way to settle things and solve problems and conflicts – between different opinions, different people, different social classes, different organisations, different parties and different countries.

It is however important for said games to allow equal chances of winning for every competitor.

Now using games to settle conflicts would also open the doors to a lot of opportunities.

First of all, and probably the most important opportunity that can be provided, is what I will call the opportunity of the mass. This opportunity allows people from all backgrounds to state their opinions and defend it without the need of violence. The voice of the mass is not always heard or taken into account. Activists often struggle to defend their opinions. And when facing an entity which has more power than you do – which can complicates matters greatly –, the game will be a place where nothing as such can influence the situation.

The second opportunity is what I call the opportunity of the misheard. Although games can be considered as battlefields for the most competitive players, they are nonetheless made for entertainment and joy. They can also allow people who are bad with words to express themselves. Therefore, games can help people to start understanding each other, slowly building bridges rather than crushing to pieces the existing ones, and potentially helps mankind to move forward towards a true unity.

The third opportunity is the opportunity of defence against any type of threat. As you have seen recently, terrorist attacks have been gradually increasing and yet, rare are the citizens who can truly defend themselves against such attacks because they are not armed like terrorists are. As a result, they have to rely heavily on the help of the police and the military. If weapons were slowly erased and replaced by games to settle matters, countless lives would be spared and citizens would actually have the possibility to defend themselves.

The fourth opportunity is the opportunity of self-development. Unlike weapons and violence which rely more on brute force than intelligence, games do the exact opposite and can therefore help in the growth of individuals, as well as the economic growth of a country. The reason is, many games require strategy, tactics, cunning and various qualities that are needed to become successful in life. Since games can be played since an early age, the children are also able to develop themselves since an early age.

Moreover, games can be used as an educational tool, as children and people in general are able to learn more efficiently when they have fun while studying a subject.

Of course, I am only talking about the positive points of using games as an alternative to violence and weapons, but I know there are many negative points as well behind using games. However, I wanted this letter to bring hope for a better future rather than believing in a hopeless world.

Now as I said before, you may consider this letter as the foolishness of an immature or crazy person, but I am simply someone who would like, like many others, to improve our society and stop the unnecessary violence and sadness from spreading across the globe. Even if you may consider my words as nothing but pure childishness, I would like you to stop for a moment and reflect on it. That’s all I ask.

I believe that conflicts, animosity and technology related to warfare prevent us from focusing our attention and deploying the necessary resources into other problems such as climate change, the growing need of resources and poverty.

But I also believe we can lead our world to a new birth. We have to move forward together rather than fighting each other on the past.