Last week I visited Geneve, Switzerland, for one night on my way to the great conference that the French group organized in Toulouse. More on the conference in subsequent posts. Here I want to write on something else.
On my way from the lakefront of Lake Leman, where I spent a couple of hours refereeing papers, to the hotel, I came across a preschool. Two slogans were written on a wall, one next to the other.
The first slogan says “Pour avoir des amis il faut les respecter”: to have friends one must respect them. I salute to the insight of the Genevians.
The second slogan is not less insightful: “Le respect c’est accepter quelqu’un même si on ne l’aime pas”: respect is accepting someone even if you don’t like him.
Even though each sentence separately makes sense, when one puts them next to each other the conclusion is rather grim. There is a reason why kids ignore what they teach them in school.