Tough People Will Cough Ashes


It was back in 1990s, when I was attending University of Toronto, I was working toward my Bachelor of Arts – Sociology. I took one economic course as an elective course to meet the program requirement. One day, I was on my way to economic tutorial class which was a small class size. When I entered the class, I noticed previous class which was a law course, a person wrote on the class board that “Tough People Cough Ashes”. The above statement left a profound meaning in me. As I began to continue my sociological readings especially Emile Durkhiem materials formulate my opinion that we were product of our environment.

On Friday November 13th, 2015 several terrorists known as ISIS with jihadi agenda attacked at civilians and robbed away their lives for no reason. On Friday November 13th, 2015 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation released a report that President of France Francois Hollande made a remark that “We Will Lead the Fight. It Will Be Ruthless”. It means that he would follow policy of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. A person needs to become emotionally intelligent person that the President of France is simply reacting to this heart wrenching event in France and hoping he would not follow through with policy of death and destruction and would follow policy of forgiveness and rebuilding relationship with others.

The real question at heart of this misery is; what did cause some individuals to hold weapons in their hands and take peoples’ life away? Obviously, these terrorists are suffering from some form of emotional pains and did not have proper resources to understand themselves that what was happening to them. This policy of a tooth for a tooth would not resolve anything. It would perpetuate culture of violence in France. It may appear that using force against these entities would be an easy solution to saga of war on terror. Does it really? Let’s open a window and look inside of a house of action movie like “V for Vendetta“. It has an interesting ending. There is a character V, who was dueling with one police officer, he opened fire at character V several times, and character V did not die.  The police officer asked him; why do not you die? The character V told him, behind this mask, it is an idea and ideas are bullet proof. Hence, these terrorists are having an idea, that idea inspire them to act irrational and irresponsible toward others. These individuals can be killed on spot. However, that idea cannot be killed. It remains in hearts and minds of many that they feel something worthy to give – up their life for that cause. What is that idea? That idea is posing threat to any nation’s social order.

Therefore, today the world is not against some disfranchised individuals, it is defending itself against terrorism at large scale. The Western powers need to build dialogue with everyone, and closing the gap among all nations and not burning the bridges.   It is the only way to have a form of mutual understanding how to resolve differences among one another rather than using muscle for a hopeful thinking that good outcome is coming.


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