Agadir – When it comes to extended families, almost everyone can state or recall some funny or colorful character from his own. A friend once told me he happened to have one of the weirdest, funniest and most “entertaining” cousins in the world. This friend went on to say that his relative was the type of person with whom you would sit and talk for a while and soon would realize that the fellow quickly enough forgets about “the information source” and gets back to you with more or less what you told him a while ago. Apparently, he would go through this chronology of storing, processing and adapting the information to make it sound his own before fixing an appropriate time to re-use it on whoever happened at the time to be his interlocutor.
My friend explained “I used to be very offended by my cousin’s strange approach to conversation and for a while thought he was doing that on purpose. After so many times, other relatives joined the “fun,” at first just to check the veracity of my claim but later, they attended with planned malicious expectations. That was quite unfortunate because that was not my intention in the first place.”
I am not a psychiatrist nor am I a psychologist but I am aware of the existence of this phenomenon called echolalia which defines the state of individuals who would automatically repeat vocalizations made by their interlocutor(s) either in an immediate or delayed fashion. Anybody who is aware that this phenomenal behavior is involuntary and unintentional will quickly dismiss it as a “no harm intended” behavior. The case mentioned earlier may be either one of immediate or delayed echolalia but that does not matter. What matters most is when this echolalia phenomenon becomes contagious and great masses all of a sudden forget about “Je pense donc je suis” and resort only to “Je suis ……”
Great masses of people can at times easily be coerced or manipulated to act in certain ways. One such way is to make them “copy” and “paste” and use your slogan everywhere. In that manner the people can forget about themselves and become someone else as in the “Je suis……….” campaign.
What can be very destructive for whole societies is the absence of critical thinking or at least some sort of proper common sense. Some sort of echolalia can be witnessed in a number of fields such as politics or religion where sometimes “listen and repeat” or better “hear and reproduce” often coupled with subjective additions, interpretations, modifications and possibly distortions occur quite frequently. This can be responsible for generating very destructive cases of rumor and hearsay that can make out of normal peace loving individuals “enthusiastic devil DJ’s” whose acts may easily spiral into unwished for violence and counter violence.
No rational human being can but condemn terrorist acts and their perpetrators from whatever political or religious affiliation or background and from whatever part of the world they may be. The ugly face of terrorism from all sources needs to be not just condemned but relentlessly fought and ultimately defeated.
Let us just remind ourselves that we cannot operate in a rational way by putting ourselves in just anybody else’s shoes when we can be far more instrumental and much more well balanced in our judgment being ourselves. Anybody with good intentions will tell you “Be yourself” and that sums up the situation