Before we go ahead with regular programming today, I would like to take a moment to pray for Sri Lanka, an absolutely beautiful country with some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. It is breaking my heart to think of those hundreds of people who were peacefully celebrating Easter and/or visiting the vibrant city of Colombo, who have unfortunately lost their lives to just another act of mindless, inhumane terrorism. This normalised culture of war and terrorism should not be the legacy we leave behind for future generations.
The only way we can change this is by changing the way we tell our children about religion. By telling them to respect them all. To make them not look at people from other communities as outsiders. By choosing governments that do not encourage communism. By teaching them (and ourselves) that revenge is not the answer.
I’m aware that as much as this hurts us right now and our hearts bleed for the victims, the harsh truth is that tomorrow or the day after or the day after that we’ll stop talking about it. It’s our brain’s way of coping. But here are a few simple, very small solutions I can suggest that might help us make our world a safer place –
1. The next time you visit a place put a little more effort into learning about their culture than just taking selfies on the beach.
2. Learn about the destination’s socio-political dynamic. Make empathy and knowledge a part of your travel experience.
3. Another very important tip I would give is to keep your eyes and ears open, when you’re a tourist you have a keener interest in observing things than a local who’s just rushing to work.
4. Always keep local police/emergency numbers handy and report if you see anything fishy.
Travel is a beautiful experience but sadly for thousands of people staying in Colombo this weekend and their loved ones, it would possibly remain the most heartbreaking memory. My team and I are sending all our love and respect to the victims of all the recent attacks not just in Sri Lanka but all over the world and their families. Let’s all learn to visualise a world where religion is the key to harmony and not terror, only then it would become a reality. Let’s make this a more empathetic world, one travel at a time.
Editor, Runway Square
Charu Gaur is the founder/editor of Runway Square. Don’t ask her to meet over tea or coffee. She’s currently working on her selfie game which recently went for a toss. Tips are welcome.