I think that one of the most misused words in modern times is “globalization”. People think that with this word, as a kind of magic tool, you can make people from different cultures and civilization to blend peacefully together. Recent events happening in France are telling us a very different truth: we were, are and always will be different, with a different view of the world and with different expectations about what life is. Yes, the “clash of civilizations” is not just the idea of Samuel P. Huntington, but a reality that is every day present (and not in a good way) in world news.
I can see this danger also when western observers talk about China and Chinese things with a sort of optimism that has not a counterpart in reality. Indeed I always mention this fact: the problem is not China, but the idea we have of China and, in the same time, the idea that China has of foreign countries. There is a fundamental opposition among different civilizations and this opposition can be reconciled only when we recognize that we are different, with different values, religions, ideas of life and death, ways of being. The only alternative to the acceptance of the differences is a perpetual war, that probably no one wishes for us and for our children. War has not to be fought just with armies: there are digital wars, financial wars, political wars and so on…I think we should lower our own expectation of the ability of other people to understand us. Sometimes, as I mentioned already previously, they want our culture and lifestyle, but they don’t want us. Please consider carefully this basic difference because if correctly understood, can open new and unexpected perspectives. Globalization is an opportunity, but also a danger. Bring closer people that are not supposed to be close in principle. Only living abroad for some years, as it is for my experience, one can really understand how different we are with others, because every day you need to face this difference on your own skin.
If we want a peaceful world, please we start to emphasize differences; maybe the road to a peaceful life together will be more difficult but for sure will be more honest and true.