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

Neglected Qualities

 

Many people give up on goals, on diets, on careers, on ideas and ideals. Why? They don’t allow for instant results.

A big problem we have today is that many people do no longer feel the need to learn the trait of patience. Things have to be accessible at once. If they aren’t, they are forgotten about. Sadly, most things that are instantly accessible, are not worth it. Patience and consistency however are crucial for anyone to reach something of worth. But in today’s world, we’re no longer taught to fight for what we want. We want to be rewarded for everything we do, we don’t like to wait and would rather not have something at all than having it later. We seek instant gratification. We’re growing up with the feeling that we do not have enough time and anything that doesn’t show results right away, never will. Yet the many things that are worth achieving; those goals you would be proud to have reached demand steadiness and discipline. But these are qualities you have to master on your own, no one can and no one will do it for you.

Another problem is that we seem to have adapted a mentality that prevents us from being appreciative of what we have. Rather, we’re always looking out for more, for bigger, for better. We don’t allow ourselves to just be happy with what we have. It always has to be more. No doubt, this way of living can be a way of reaching more. A way of finding out how far you can go.

But it also rules out self-appreciation, gratitude and recognition. It rules out the possibility of having a good life. Because as I see it, there is no definition of a good life that suits everyone. It is whatever you want it to be. Yet there are people who think of themselves as worthy of defining what a good life is, thereby presenting a certain image of what it is supposed to be. People, who have yet to figure out what a good life is to them, who have yet to realize that they are the only ones who are worthy of assessing their lives, will follow this path, striving for a life they do not want. And eventually, they’ll realize just how much time they wasted going through life with their eyes closed to the things that genuinely matter to them.

You can obviously live your life trying to have more and be more. Or you stop and take a breath. Think about how much you have reached, how many bad days you’ve gone through, how many true friends you’ve found, how much love you’ve felt.

Being grateful is hard for many people, but as I see it, you either learn this trait or you go through life blinded by the sparkling world of the more, the bigger, the better  and never see how much you already have. And one day you will die and you’ll not look back to all the good you have had but wish for just one more day on earth.

 

CK

Something Special About Us

I’m not sure if that’s what every generation says about themselves but I have a feeling that we’re doing much better than is expected from us.

When I look around I see young women not tolerating any bullshit from any man anymore. I see activists, people who want to be part of the country’s politics to be able to change something. To fix what others messed up. I see artists. Singers. Songwriters. DJs. Producers. Dancers.

I see young people having startups before they’ve finished high school. People who refuse nine-to-five jobs. People finding ways to make money with what they love. People learning from their mistakes and those of others. I see people no longer caring about what others think about them. People daring to be who they are. I see more uniqueness. More openness towards individuality.

But most importantly, I see a generation in which people have become aware of how important it is to take care of themselves and the people around them. We have started to reach out for one another. Started to accept mistakes. Started to accept that perfection isn’t an option. We have made ourselves a priority.

Now, how does that make us any better than any generation before us? I believe that the support and love I see around me is real. I see honest and critical minds. Less followers and more pioneers. I see refusal. Refusal to accept bad things. Refusal to accept that bad things must remain because “that’s the way it has always been”.

I see people who are no longer afraid of change. People who seek change. People who understand the necessity of change. And the necessity of faith and courage. The necessity to stand up for their rights. To stand up for those who can’t.

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.

-Chinua Achebe

Be proud of who you are!! Please let us not be compromised when we can be so much more…

Invent yourself, CK

Recall

I remember how when we started going to high school, it was all about becoming famous and being liked by everyone. Back when Instagram had only but launched and Facebook was still leading the social media empire. It was all about having more likes on your profile pictures than anyone else.

It was so stupid because once you had reached some kind of fame (which is ridiculous in itself because our population consists of about 3 people)  rumors started. We wanted to be who people talked about but we wanted people to have good opinions about us. Rumors, however are not usually positive and when we heard about how other people thought we were, all we wanted was being left alone.

Back then, Formspring was still a thing and for a year or so it was the hotspot for rumors. People answered questions about other people, spreading lies to restore their own image. Acting and reacting. We knew that lies about us were being told, yet when we heard something about someone else, we didn’t think twice, believed and passed it on.

I don’t know why  people feel the need to be known by everyone. It might just be some sort of transition phase, part of growing up. I think that it’s the result of social pressure, that we put on ourselves. We think that we’re good people when others believe we are. We give others too much control over our self-esteem and self-evaluation. We fear to lose our individuality and want to stand out, have something that others want, do something others can’t.

Now, looking back to this period, I feel like I spent too much time comparing myself to others. While I enjoyed growing up in this society( and still do), I think I could’ve been happier if this comparison hadn’t taken place to this extent.

Uniqueness is wealth. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not other people.

Invent yourself, CK


“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations