Plea for humanity

‘Back on the ship, away with the junk’, ‘Like grasshoppers, a deadly plague’, ‘We’ve helped enough of them’, ‘Our country will soon consist of nothing but refugees’ ‘Why build a mosque for them? Will they build a church for us?’, ‘If they want to practice their religion, they should leave our country’

Yet again, people show their true face. Hard pill to swallow, considering that these comments all came from Luxembourgish people in one of the richest countries in the world. How deeply flawed human nature is. How easy it is to manipulate it. We live in a world in which people have allowed mainstream media to blind them, paired with devices that allow people to write faster than they can think. Reading through these comments made me realize two things in particular. 1. Maybe we shouldn’t have taught all old people how to use a smartphone, it would have spared us many stupid comments. 2. Young people maybe won’t be able to change their minds, but at least the majority of people under 30 seem to feel more empathetic towards any kind of stranger (or so I hope, for they/we are the future of this world)

How do I know that I’m not the one who has been brainwashed? How do I know that I’m not being blind to see the truth; that these people do not come here solely to exploit the wealth and good-heartedness of the people in this country? I know because empathy is not something we learn by reading the paper or any social media feed, it’s something we learn as children, on the playground, a virtue we should value highly and practice daily. It isn’t my head that tells me that welcoming people from other countries in financial or political trouble is the right thing to do, it’s a natural feeling. Natural as in innate. Natural as in necessary to maintain a life in community. Natural as in I know I have the responsibility to help. I emphasize not because I have to but because it is human and humane.

Arguing that whoever agrees with the government accommodating refugees should themselves invite them to their house is as invalid, narrow-minded and one-dimensional as it gets. The problem is not with those who are welcoming people into our country without offering them a bed in their own home, it is with those that think that more people could make their life worse. That only they should profit from the richness of their country, because they have been born here. And what exactly did you contribute to being born in a rich country? YOU WERE LUCKY. It’s not a merit and it’s certainly not a free ride to being racist and trying to exclude people. We obviously cannot host a million refugees, but what we can realistically do, we have to. There are always ways, and if there are none, we, as human beings are trained to create them. The answer to problems can never be hate towards those who are both least responsible and still have to live with the consequences.

I do believe, however, that another problem is the unfortunate combination of stupidity coped with the desperate need to make yourself be heard. Whoever shouts the loudest wins? Back on the playground, are we? Comments approving the government’s choice to help those in need are the minority in most comment sections. That is, so I believe, not an indication of the majority of the inhabitants being racist, but rather a sign of intelligible people refraining from unnecessary and aimless arguments, that will end in nothing but personal offense. These comment sections, as foolish as they may appear, serve the racists. Through the likes and comments their contributions get, they feel strengthened and supported in their convictions. It makes them think that they are in the right. A sign that their opinion is not based on personal experience or research, but rather on listening to the ones that shout the loudest. Vicious circle..

‘I’m not a racist, but..’  

 Yes, you are. Any sentence following this phrase will erase any doubt about you being racist. You are. Starting your sentence this way does not allow you to make any xenophobic comment. It’s like insulting someone and then saying ‘no offense’. Discrimination of any kind is inexcusable behavior. How dare you judge over anyone but yourself, judging over other people is a merit not a single person in this world has earned or will ever earn.

I know many people are tired, tired of being ignored by the government. People with real problems, with hungry families they have to feed. People feeling neglected and made fun of because they don’t get the help they’ve been promised. And all of a sudden, people who haven’t had to pay taxes for this country for their entire lives, people who’ve come here, seemingly not adding anything to society, they get to live here for free, get to live without having to work, without even knowing the language. But hate and racism can never be an answer. It is not the refugees’ fault that they are here, they didn’t choose to flee their own countries, their homes and families. These people are in need, they rely on other people to help them. It’s not their fault that they are being helped. Ignorance of the problems of others, hoping for them to leave as soon as possible is not going to solve your problems. These aggressions against people who seek nothing but protection, who want to live a life without the constant fear of being bombed, who want to live a normal life, will not better yours.

I get it, humans are animals. Our brains are trained to protect us. What we don’t know, we fear. But this is not the Stone Age. This is 2019. Fearing and rejecting someone because we don’t know them and they might look different is no longer tolerable. The best thing that can happen to us is by being open, by learning about others, because believe it or not, we all still have a lot to learn and if you think that the life you’re living is perfect, you are closing your eyes before much greater things that could enhance your life. We are animals, but we’re also social beings.

Compassion and love can go a long way. Don’t you dare ever forget that we’re all humans. We’re all the same and if someone needs help, it’s our responsibility to help them as much as we can. And as a country which does have the financial and spatial possibilities to help, we have to.

‘First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’ -Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee)

Invent yourself, CK

To the woman of my life

People say the most important thing in our lives is finding someone who’ll make us forget all worries in the world. But the only person in the world able to make you feel better by a simple hug is your mother. There’s just nothing like it. The love from a mother is irreplaceable and unique.

We often forget how much our mothers had to give up to enable us the life they think we deserve.They pretty much had to give up everything they had before. They do so much for us and all they expect is respect and love. A mother’s love is the only love that’ll never cease. Mothers are the first and last to love their child. The bond between mother and child is stronger than any other relationship, it’s all about unconditional love. She loves you before she has even seen you once.

Mothers understand when we’re sad, they just know when something is wrong. A loving mother never stops protecting her child. It’s not about age, she’ll do anything in her power to shield it even when she’ll need a walking stick and has grey hair.

Children are the most important things in a mother’s life. If you can, show your mother how much she means to you. Don’t take the person that made you who you are today for granted. They don’t expect much. They just want love.

Thank you for making me who I am today, thank you for going through my ups and downs  without losing hope. Thank you for teaching me how to get through tough times and how to cope with them. Thank you for comforting me. Thank you for always being there for me and thank you for giving me advice when I need it. Thank you for showing me that family is the most important thing in life. Thank you for being who you are. I hope you never lose faith.

“A mother loves her children unconditionally. However they wrong her, she’ll carry on loving them.”
― Alaa Al Aswany

Happy birthday Mum

CK

We’re the drunk generation

No, we’re not the first generation to drink alcohol, nor will we be the last, but I believe that you can’t deny that we incarnate being drunk and have brought it to another level, for we do not only need it for the sole purpose of having fun anymore. We’re in desperate need for it. Why? Because deep down we need social contact, we need love, yet giving love is something we’ve unlearnt somewhere on our way.

The only time we are accessible- and can spread this social love, is when we forget about looking good, when we don’t care what other people think anymore. In times of social pressure and beauty ideals we feel we have to live up to, alcohol seems to be the only solution to enjoy ourselves.

We drink on every occasion; On birthdays, on days that are not our birthdays, when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we party, when we mourn. There’s no time when alcohol wouldn’t be appropriate. It has become a fundamental part of our all lives.

Being able to say we were drunk, allows us to do all the things we want to do, but don’t have the guts to when we’re sober, afraid of not being accepted anymore, of being laughed at. When we’re drunk, we like to talk to people we don’t know and I think this is something we all should do more often, not when we’re drunk, necessarily. Flirting becomes really easy, because it is a natural thing to do.

To all people saying ‘You don’t need alcohol to have fun’ -Yes you’re completely right, but I need alcohol to free myself from worries and self-awareness, to accept my flaws and openly admit that I seek social contact and love. It is sad that we seem to achieve this state only with the help of a drug, (because that’s what alcohol is in the end), but that’s the way our generation works.

To say alcohol does no good is wrong. To say it does no harm is wrong. But I’d rather be liberated from my insecurities and harm my body, than be healthy and enchained for all my life.

Invent yourself,CK

Bring back dates

‘I have to drink until I’m courageous enough to dance with her’
I’m aware that the way dating is depicted in movies is exaggerated but in Luxembourg, there seems to be no romance at all anymore.

You see a beautiful girl or some handsome guy and instead of just going over to her or him  and get to know them, you have to fear that you’ll be ridiculed by her friends for actually having the courage to meet someone in person and not on Facebook or Snapchat (which is really common because it’s so much easier to get to know each other if you have time to think about what you’ll say next. This way you can make them think that you’re really smart and funny when in reality you’re as smart as a stick).

The only other way is to wait for the person you fancy to accept a freebeer invitation on Facebook, where nobody cares who you’re talking to because everybody is drunk.
(Note:  how can you build a relationship if you won’t even remember the first time you talked to each other? I mean it’s not impossible, but there should be other options.)

I might be too harsh on this and you might argue that I’m overacting and that you should just go for it if you want to meet someone but I hope you’re aware that most people discourage others simply by giving them a daunting look (very common feature in Luxembourg).

A little more sympathy and a little more romance would do us good. Think about how your parents met, they couldn’t access social networks and hide behind their screen and got together anyway. Of course it’s awesome to be able to connect with people over internet but when it comes to love, you should grow a pair and talk to them, even if you risk being ridiculed. I mean you want to spend time with them, right? That’s the main desire if you like someone. Then why would you prevent this by writing them on Facebook, Snapchat etc. I know you can arrange to meet them on those networks but to say it in Ted Mosby’s words:

Nothing in this life quite compares to the sweet, terrifying exhilaration of making your move- when you just put it all on the line and go for it. (HIMYM)

I think we should go back to this. Bring back dates.
Invent yourself,CK