The phrase went something like, «We will only protect what we love,» and it came from the oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, who anticipated the conversation about the environment several decades earlier, and opened the world’s eyes to the beauty of things that we had not yet seen, like submarine life.
The fact is that this phrase left an impression on me. The idea that we «protect what we love» made me think about the different ways we have of loving but also of hating. How is it possible for a human being to have the capacity to love and protect and to hate and destroy at the same time?
The events of these last few days remind us that nobody is free from hating or from being hated, that hate is all around us, and that if we let it be, if we nurture it or allow it to grow, the idea of war, suddenly, does not seem so far away.
Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Libya…the list is endless, and we look the other way, as if this were never going to happen to us. Not only do we not protect, but neither are we capable of seeing that we are not so far from the realities of conflict; conflict begins with hate, and unfortunately there is a part of our society that already cultivates hate with passion, in the media, in the streets, in life.
And then I return to Cousteau, to his curious idea of creating a city under the sea, and the notion that even there, we would destroy one another…But I want to think that we will always have the naive hope that, some day, love will win the battle over hate and that we will stop wishing to dominate, of wanting to have power, of wanting to be more, so that in that way, generosity, empathy, and curiosity to love what we don’t yet know can take over and help us stop originating wars, injustices, and assassinations…