There are good people in the world. We cannot allow so much malice, violence and injustice to prevent us from seeing the positive things around us. This week, the neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti arrived in Madrid. He is the researcher who discovered mirror neurons, the ones that make us feel what other people feel: the neurons that make us cry when others cry or laugh when others laugh. In one of the interviews he granted, Rizzolatti spoke, among other things, about the use of virtual reality to treat motor problems originating in the brain and about imitation as a way of learning. I began to think about how contagious emotions are—both the good and the bad—and about the fact that all we are amplifying in the media is truly violent. And then I thought that if gender inequality was simply a result of imitation, a tradition, what is it that we should do to prevent what is happening from happening? How can we interrupt the cycle and start anew?
Frankly, it is painful to see how the justice system continues imitating and doling out sentences from the past, and it is also painful to see that the media does not communicate news: news are merely are merely reproduced, packaged and sold. In our excessive consumption of information and content, we should start to seriously consider the thread with which we weave our existence since cultural imitation is a double-edged sword.
As Gonzalo Torné writes in his introduction to the most recent edition of Montaigne’s essays, “we live enveloped by the opinions, speeches, accounts, and memories of others that, whether we want to or not, provide the threads with which we weave our expectations, goals, and objectives.”