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Marlo Thomas

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A Plea for Peace: Why Social Media Matters

Posted: 03/22/2012 3:50 pm

I challenge anyone not to be moved by the video I just saw on YouTube. In it, a 41-year-old Israeli named Ronny -- a graphic designer, a teacher, a father -- looks straight into the camera and speaks.

"Lately, in the news, we've been hearing about a war coming -- a big one -- while we the common people are sitting and watching it come, like it has nothing to do with us. So three days ago, I posted a simple message on Facebook. 'To the Iranian people -- to all fathers, mothers, children, sisters and brothers -- we will never bomb your country. We love you.' Within 24 hours, thousands of people shared the post on Facebook. Within 48 hours, the Iranian people started responding -- hundreds of messages telling the Israeli people, 'We love you back.' Please help us to prevent this war by spreading this message."

Much is said about the endless crush of information that courses through social media every day -- billions of tweets and posts and uploads; a torrential cascade of electronic information, some of it worthy, some of it nonsense. And we tolerate the worst of it because, every now and then, a message cuts through that is so human, so meaningful, so potent in its simplicity that it clutches at the heart.

That is what Ronny's message is. And the global response to it -- which continues, even as I write this -- stands as a testament that decent and thoughtful people around the world want nothing more than to live their lives in peace.

I hope that the leaders in Israel and Iran, in the United States and elsewhere around the globe -- powerful men and women charged with the responsibility of speaking for entire nations -- are as adept at listening to, and hearing, the voices of their citizens, who have now taken to the Internet to connect with long-held "enemies" to find the peace themselves.

Share Ronny's post with everyone you can, so we may all help put the dream of world peace back into the hands of those who want it most -- the people of this planet.




 

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