Angelina Jolie is a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She gave a speech “Refugee system breaking down”, and I wrote an analysis of her speech. Of course, I read the comments on youtube as well.
I was surprised to see that people were blaming Jolie for the opposite of what I was criticizing her for. I saw that they took it as if Jolie was advocating open borders. So many people's argument was that she should be getting refugees in her home. The defenders said “She's got them, she's adopted three children from such countries.” But the others claimed “Oh it is not the same as taking in an 18 year-old male with a gun in his hand.” How unreasonable can people be when they wish to criticize. Why can't people just let others be? Especially, and at least, when they are doing something good?
I personally do not find Angelina Jolie especially beautiful. But who am I to speak? I do not care about physical beauty, just the beauty of the soul and beauty of words reflected from that soul. I personally do not approve of Jolie's removing her breasts and ovaries. But again, who am I to speak? It's her life and her choice. Who knows, perhaps I would have done the same if I was in her shoes. But these have nothing to do with what Jolie does for refugees.
I have no particular interest in having as much money as Jolie or other stars or anybody else for that matter. However, as I was reading what Jolie has done, the Millenium Village she has created, the Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Sanctuary she is supporting, and all the other things she has done for conservation of nature reserves, the free health clinic, housing and schools she built for San Bushmen community, the school and boarding facilities she funded for refugee girls in Kenya and Afghanistan and all the other places, the medical and educational facility she established for children affected by HIV in Cambodia, another center in Zahara she opened to treat children suffering from HIV or tuberculosis... I was jealous. Jealous in the sense that I wish I had the means to have done those. They are all good deeds. And money serves for such things. If it is used for a good purpose, having money can surely be a good thing.
You know, at school, I did not like getting good grades. I was surprised to read in my old journals that one day I came home with a sulky face. My mother asked if I had gotten a bad grade or something. I said “I got a 9 in Maths.” My mother asked “Then why do you seem so sad?” and my answer was “Because my friends got failing grades.”
Perhaps it was just one sentence of a friend who retorted “What would you care? You are the best in class” when I said “I'm sorry” for her having got a 4 on the exam. Perhaps that's what has triggered my feelings of guilt all my life. Perhaps, travelling the world and almost everybody around me being envious for it, added to my guilt. These people had more money than me, but I was the one who had done the thing they said they wished to do. I felt guilty for my natural gifts, for the results of my choices. So maybe that's why I am fine with being a “failure”. I take a secret pleasure in the fact that I am being ignored by the Turkish media. On the internet, I am glad I do not have too many followers and do not get much attention as I don't want stones to get hurled at my head. The more prominent you become, the more hatred and criticism you draw. Do as much good as you do, whatever good intentions you have, they are going to be twisted somehow.
MSF had tweeted “Here it is clear & simple - We are not smugglers nor are we an anti-smuggling operation. We're in the #Mediterranean to save lives. Period.” I was perplexed. I replied “Such a shame you need to explain this!” but I also wondered why they felt the need to say such a thing and “defend” themselves. There must have been people accusing them of such things. Then I came across a couple of such tweets. Two were from Marco Neri (@mrcneri)
@MSF_Sea @guardiacostiera you are clandestine people smugglers !
@MSF_Sea SSF ... Smugglers Sans Frontiers
The second tweet accompanied by a clip of Robin Williams from the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire” showing his middle finger
The other was from Adriano Veneto (@AdrianoVeneto) Oct 3
@MSF_Sea @guardiacostiera YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DAMAGES YOU ARE INFLICTING TO OUR ITALIAN FUTURE GENERATIONS. THEY WILL SPIT ON YOUR GRAVES.
Such hatred. Such poison...
People's ideas, their words, their deeds give away their character. Personal attacks are the easiest and basest form of attack. People should rise above the personal and start learning to discuss ideas.
We sympathize with people who see the world like us, reject the ones who think the opposite. Fine. But unless we learn to attack ideas, attack deeds, attack words uttered instead of people, we are not going to get anywhere.
Instead of smearing, people should come up with constructive suggestions. But the common man does not have such a brain. He can only curse, he can only condemn to release his anger, his dissatisfaction with his life and probably his very own self. He is not aware of his despicability.
"Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. Then they were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots." Umberto Eco
I do not have many followers or “friends”. I am not known much. Or rather, I believe I am very little known, at least in Turkey, given what I have done. I don't know if it's my ill-humor when I need to deal with people who do not do their jobs properly or who do not show common decency, if it's my lack of skill for personal promotion, or if it's simply my being a woman... You know I wonder what the media would have said and written about me had I been a man? Unfortunately, women are not taken seriously or given much attention in our world. Not even in the “modern” world.
I wish I am known so as to have an impact on more people. I wish to stay a nobody so as not to be bothered with ignorant crowds. These two desires are in constant conflict within me. Don't think I cannot take in criticism, I am fine with criticism. I just can't stand stupid, brainless remarks, and I do not particularly appreciate personal attacks. I do not appreciate these for anybody else either.
I have criticized Jolie's speech, but I respect all the good things she has done and is trying to do. I respect all those people who have the courage to put themselves forward in spite of all the unjust criticism from ignorant crowds.
Kudos to Angelina Jolie, to MSF and all of you out there trying to make the world a better place.