Opinion

Coexistence: the Pact of Humanity

Canada - Pluralism and interculturalism in developed societies, especially in the West, create challenges to be met and managed on a daily basis.

Peaceful coexistence is a widespread value in societies that think of themselves as lands of immigration, but the political and socio-economic ideologies that would favor such a societal philosophy are not always in tune with the cognitive and emotional evolution of current populations.

Depending on the cultural richness of the host country, diverse immigrants constitute a considerable wealth for their new countries. The management of interculturality requires a certain degree of flexibility in order to ensure a coexistence without cognitive tensions and value judgments. This interaction of identities — between the values of the new environment and the psychological constructions formed prior to the arrival of the new individual — demands a certain plasticity and above all a constant willingness to adapt.

Integral to coexisting harmoniously is the need for our sociopolitical and philosophical perceptions to form an important piece, if not the foundation, of a society of public rights and freedoms. The values that we can cultivate, especially through the media and school programs, will be the only insurance for our societies as we work to guarantee a life together in peace, security and a sharing of cultures while respecting the values of host societies. Politicians and decision-makers will also need to continually adopt more inclusive approaches and foster visible diversity at all levels.

The legal system of such a nation should take care to evolve continuously in order to take into account the shifting demographic composition of the country. In some host societies, the poor adaptability of their laws and administrative rules and regulations often ends up restricting integration in a place that is supposed to be more flexible and welcoming for newcomers.

In other words, coexistence is a sine qua non dimension for the missions, visions and values of all state bodies seeking to act in harmony with the accelerating evolution of the spirit of citizenship. This societal progression, along with changing demographics, puts the onus on political decision-makers to act accordingly in order to live up to their society’s needs. Above all, the host society must be sensitive and aware of the new reality and new identities within it.

Beyond its philosophical and sociopolitical dimension, coexistence is a skill to practice constantly and to cultivate in the minds of citizens. It is vital that awareness, both individual and collective, is encouraged in order to maintain a certain social peace. For hundreds of years, this goal has maintained a hard-earned legacy of protecting and enhancing societies.

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