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Totally Personal
by Gordana Mudri
2015-11-27 11:13:31
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Totally Personal

I don't know how it is with other countries, but the Paris tragedy gradually gave away to other news. The consequences and the causes are still making news, not on the top, but they are still there. We all heard, or testified, depending on the place of living, about strengthening security across Europe, about rifles on the streets, cancellations of public gatherings and similar preventive actions; still life has gradually return to some kind of normality. And this is good. Fear and anxiety are the main target for those who shed innocent blood with terrorist actions.

ref01_400_02For most ordinary people, this tragedy will fade away with time, under the pressure of their own everyday problems, with the struggle to survive, or because new events will soon take over the first page of the daily newspapers and the first few minutes of the evening TV news. People will abhor over some less tragic news, like a football fans rampage destroying their city's centre due to of a "sacred" sports goal, making jokes like with hooligans like that who needs terrorists. In the end all the hot-heads will be forgotten within a day. Sometimes denial and oblivion are the easiest way to feel better, adding the well-known mantra: life goes on. That’s somehow so human. It is a way of fighting for your own mental health. Discomfort and fear will disappear, caution will loosen and people will gather in bars, in concerts and theatres again. And that's good.

But, the bloody events in the heart of the developed and civilized Europe (in what we pride as so superior), gave a rise to a completely uncivilized behaviour and, by the way, it was somehow similar to what happened after the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, in the United States.

There is a part of citizens, who will not forget the bloody events in Paris - and I don't mean those personally affected by the tragedy because they lost someone - I mean those who don't see the bloody tragedy as a senseless act with certain causes and effects, but as a good opportunity and excuse for hatred and intolerance towards anyone who is indifferent. Similar as the aforementioned unsporting fans. That part of the citizens practically doing a favour to the terrorists and to their ideology. They stir up the hatred, they call for revenge, they threaten and attack, which ultimately leads to destabilization and an insecure society; far from the civilized and democratic mantle we like to drape, declaring ourselves as the cultural and progressive people of the Old Continent.

Thanks to the economic crisis and the lack of prospects, such distinctly fascist and Nazi demands are finding a fertile ground, especially under the situations we witness in the recent months on the route from Greece – the Balkan route – to the developed Europe. The xenophobic statements by extremists "on duty", about the Islamization of Europe, the "undercover" terrorists coming hidden among the people who seek salvation, became - after the massacre in Paris – a common situation in most European countries. Orban’s wire fences have become a shared commotion. And no matter what various analysts interpret - that for the organization of such an attack it took a while - it does not matter that the organizers of the massacre were European citizens, - many of them also registered as potentially dangerous - all that matters is to declare all refugees dangerous and terrorists.

But here it is not just about extremist groups - to which sadly we are getting accustomed of their existence. The combination of the economic crisis, refugee crisis and the terrorist attack in Paris revealed something more. The people you thought you knew, suddenly become strangers. Neighbours, friends, even family members; people you meet or connect every single day, they suddenly have become xenophobic opponents of humanism. Under the influence of fear, which is understandable and natural when there is a threat of weapons, they - more or less consciously - approached the side of hating everything indifferent. And while you're trying to understand the sudden change (or wonder if they have lost their civilized mantle), trying hard to justify their behaviour recalling fear and shock; you realize that although you are also in the same mental situation, your mind still works slightly different and doesn't exceed on "dark side“.  All the arguments you use to convince these new interlocutors, explaining that what they do and say only serves the aims of terrorism, rarely have an impact.

But, you don't have just a scared person in front of you. It's a person on the edge of their strength battling for everyday survival. The long-standing crisis and insecurity has long been sparked distrust and the latest events only added fuel to the fire. You have a person who is prepared to be a breeding ground for extreme rightists. And you don't want to be in such an environment. What can you do? First of all, stick to your own beliefs, which are a reflection of your sensitivity to every human being, and persistently repeat your attitudes. In some cases, you will alleviate this paranoia with your tranquillity and arguments, because you are aware of all the risks and you admit that, but you will not allow that those risks turn the future in the wrong direction. Because it's not about a better future for you personally, it is about future generations, and you don't want them to live in insecurity, in fear and in hatred. In any case, you will discover who are the people that you were convinced that you knew them and you can decide whether you want them close to you, or not.

Let's say that it is normal and natural that people fight primarily for themselves and their families and after that they turn to their fellow citizens and to the others. (Although many would not agree with that, because human are social beings, but, let's say that most have such a primordial reaction). The economic crisis, unemployment, lack of money, ruined factories and the economy, bad government and politicians, all of that has led the people into the position for convulsive struggle for survival and in a paranoia that everything around them hides a threat. This is the consequence of a crisis time and it doesn't happen for the first time now. This is why calls to assist the refugees are now topical; because, “damn it, we have plenty of our own in poverty and homeless“, for which officials don't care much, and behold why the money should go for the care of strangers? Or, “our children don't have a job, and now foreigners will take jobs“. Ironically it is the same people who readily will say goodbye to their own child, who wants to find economic security in another country without thinking that their own child will "hijack a job" of a child in that other country. They think these ‘others’ where their children will go, have not the same right to think about their child as foreign and unwelcome. Hypocritical, isn't it?

To be honest, my dear "friends", if you live in an organized country with laws that are not just empty cells; with a capable government that does not dig through the ghosts of past wars, but do care for the betterment of its own people and make laws that allow normal operations and development, if you can work and make a living with your own work and if you are a satisfied citizen in your country - any country in the world - would you really care about the nationality of your work colleague or a next-door neighbour? How much would you be interested in what church he goes and what religion he practices? You're both employed, happy with your life and you are not a threat to each other. You'll celebrate birthdays and holidays together, you'll overcome cultural differences and you'll even learn about unfamiliar customs with pleasure. Because you are happy, because your state is organized, because your children have access to education and they have a future, because your elected politicians are not narrow-minded egoists glued to the chair, who try to remain in power as long as possible while defending their own privileges.

So, stop blaming people who are looking for a better and peaceful future. Tomorrow it could be your child. An impatient youth who will want to enjoy life immediately, rather than wait for the middle age to get first job and start a family. Do not blame religion, ethnicity and skin colour, because your grandparents went "in search for bread" all over the world and they were the ‘different’ in the country they landed.

You have to look for the cause of the problem in a lack of accountability, starting with yourself, up to the politicians and government which were elected in a way that you didn't go to the polls with the excuse that you can't change anything. Look for the cause in the bad policies all over the world, which deplete natural resources and destroy small nations. Look for the cause in disproportion of the distributed wealth, which results in increasing poverty and dissatisfaction on one side, against the arrogance and power on the other side. Look for the cause in the absence of humanity to others.

 And all of this takes us back to the beginning, to yourself and to the belief that you can't change anything anyway but you can blame and hate others.

We closed the circle.

Life goes on...

 Except for those who are gone because of hatred and fear and because they were someone different.

And because you think that you cannot change anything.


Sasvim osobno

Ne znam kako je u drugim zemljama, ali pariška tragedija ustupila je mjesto drugim vijestima. Istina, posljedice i događanja koja je izazvala još su vijesti, ali ne udarne.  Slušamo (ili svjedočimo, ovisno o mjestu življenja) o jačanju sigurnosnih mjera diljem Europe, dugim cijevima na ulicama, otkazivanju javnih okupljanja i sličnim preventivnim akcijama, ali život se polako vraća u normalu. I to je dobro. Strah i nelagoda su glavni cilj onih koji prolijevaju krv nedužnih u ovakvim terorističkim akcijama.

ref02_400_01Većini običnih građana ova će tragedija s vremenom izblijediti pod pritiskom vlastitih životnih problema i borbe za egzistenciju, ili zbog nekih novih vijesti koje će zauzeti prve stranice dnevnih novina ili udarne minute večernjih vijesti na televizijskim programima. Zgražat će se nad nekim manje tragičnim vijestima, kao što je divljanje navijača koji uništavaju vlastite gradove zbog nekog „svetog“ sportskog cilja,  praveći šale da uz takve navijače teroristi nisu ni potrebni. Usijane će glave obaviti sličan posao zahvaljujući međusobnoj netrpeljivosti. I bit će zaboravljeni u roku od jednog dana. Ponekad su negiranje i zaborav najlakši način da se osjećamo bolje uz dobro poznatu mantru -  život ide dalje. To je, rekli bismo, ljudski. Neki način borbe za vlastito mentalno zdravlje. Nestat će nelagoda i strah, popustit će oprez i ljudi će se opet okupljati u kafićima, na koncertima i na predstavama.  I to je dobro.

Međutim, krvavi događaj u srcu razvijene i civilizirane Europe u koju se superiorno zaklinjemo, povukao je za sobom sasvim necivilizirano ponašanje, uostalom, slično kao i nakon tragedije 11. Rujna 2001. u SAD.

Jedan dio građana neće uopće zaboraviti krvave događaje poput Pariza, ali pri tom ne mislim na one koji su osobno pogođeni tragedijom jer su izgubili nekog bliskog. Ovdje mislim na one koji na krvave tragedije ne gledaju kao na bezumni čin s određenim uzrokom i posljedicama, nego kao na dobar povod i izgovor za širenje mržnje i netrpeljivosti prema svakom tko je drugačiji. Slično kao i već spomenuti , ni malo sportski, navijači. Taj dio građana praktički čini uslugu teroristima i njihovoj ideologiji. Potpiruju mržnju, zazivaju osvetu, prijete i napadaju, što u konačnici, vodi do destabilizacije i nesigurnog društva, daleko od civiliziranog i demokratskog plašta kojim se volimo ogrnuti, deklarirajući se kao kulturni i napredni stanovnici Starog Kontinenta.

Zahvaljujući ekonomskoj krizi i besperspektivnosti takvi izrazito rasistički i nacistički zahtjevi pronalaze plodno tlo, pogotovo u situaciji kakvoj smo svjedoci posljednjih mjeseci na trasi Grčka – balkanska ruta – razvijena Europa. Ksenofobne izjave dežurnih ekstremista o islamizaciji i prikrivenim teroristima koji dolaze skrivajući se među ljudima koji traže spas, postale su, nakon masakra u Parizu, širom razvijeni transparent u svakoj europskoj državi, a Orbanove žičane ograde sve su masovnije. I nije važno što razni analitičari tumače kako je za organizaciju ovakvog napada trebalo vremena, nije važno što su organizatori pokolja državljani europskih zemalja (mnogi od njih već evidentirani kao potencijalno opasni), važno je samo sve izbjeglice proglasiti opasnima i teroristima.

Ali, ovdje nije samo riječ o ekstremnim grupama na koje smo, recimo tako, već navikli da postoje. 

Kombinacija izbjegličke krize i terorističkog napada u Parizu otkrila je još nešto. Ljudi za koje ste mislili da ih poznajete, odjednom postaju stranci. Susjedi, prijatelji, čak i članovi obitelji, ljudi koje susrećete ili s njima kontaktirate svaki dan, odjednom su postali ksenofobični protivnici humanizma. Pod utjecajem straha, koji je razumljiv i prirodan kada postoji prijetnja oružjem,  oni se, više ili manje svjesno, priklanjaju opciji mrzitelja svega drugačijeg. I dok pokušavate razumjeti njihovu iznenadnu promjenu (ili su samo izgubili svoj civilizirani plašt?) opravdavajući njihovo ponašanje strahom i šokom, shvatite da, iako ste i sami u istoj mentalnoj situaciji, vaš razum ipak funkcionira drugačije i ne prelazi na „tamnu stranu“. Svi vaši argumenti kojima, sada sasvim nepoznate sugovornike, pokušavate uvjeriti  da čine upravo ono što je cilj terorizma, rijetko kada imaju učinka.

Međutim, na suprotnoj strani nemate samo uplašenu osobu. To je osoba na rubu snaga u svakodnevnom preživljavanju. Dugogodišnja kriza i nesigurnost već je odavno zapalila iskru nepovjerenja i posljednji su događaji samo dolili ulje na vatru. Imate osobu koja je spremna biti plodno tlo za ekstremnog desničara. A ne želite takvo okruženje. Što možete učiniti? Prvenstveno, ostati pri vlastitim uvjerenjima, koji su odraz vaše osjetljivosti prema svakom ljudskom biću, i uporno ponavljati vaše stavove. U nekim ćete slučajevima svojom mirnoćom i argumentima ublažiti nastalu paranoju, jer ste svjesni svih rizika i to priznajete, ali ne dozvoljavate da ti rizici okrenu budućnost u krivom smjeru. Jer, ne radi se o boljoj budućnosti za vas osobno, već za generacije koje dolaze, a za koje ne želite život u nesigurnosti, strahu i mržnji. U svakom slučaju, otkrit ćete tko su osobe za koje ste bili uvjereni da ih poznajete i možete donijeti odluku želite li ih, ili ne, u vašoj blizini.

Recimo da je normalno i prirodno da se čovjek bori prvenstveno za sebe i vlastitu obitelj, pa se onda okreće svojim sugrađanima i ostalima. (Iako se mnogi ne bi složili, jer čovjek je društveno biće, ali, recimo da je praiskonska reakcija većine takva). Ekonomska kriza, nezaposlenost, besparica, uništene tvornice i  gospodarstvo, loše vlade i političari, sve to dovodi ljude u poziciju grčevite borbe za opstanak i prijetnju tome nalaze u svemu oko sebe.  To je posljedica svakog kriznog vremena i ne događa se prvi puta. Zato su i sada aktualna prozivanja o pomoći izbjeglicama, jer, k vragu, imamo dosta i vlastite sirotinje i beskućnika za koje službene vlasti nije previše briga, a eto, novac  odlazi za zbrinjavanje stranaca. Ili, naša djeca nemaju posao, a sad će nam ga preoteti stranci. S druge strane, ti isti ljudi spremni su se oprostiti s vlastitom djecom koja žele pronaći ekonomsku sigurnost u nekoj drugoj zemlji i ne misle o tome da će to njihovo dijete „oteti posao“ nekom djetetu u toj zemlji.  Misle da drugi nemaju pravo njihovo dijete smatrati strancem i nepoželjnim. Licemjerno, zar ne?

Ruku na srce, dragi moji „odjednom stranci“, da živite u uređenoj državi, sa zakonima koji nisu samo mrtvo slovo na papiru, sa sposobnom vladom koja ne pretura po duhovima prošlih ratova, nego se brine za boljitak svog naroda, donosi zakone koji će omogućiti normalno poslovanje i razvoj gospodarstva, da možete raditi i pristojno živjeti od svog rada i da ste zadovoljni građanin svoje države, bilo koje države u svijetu, koliko bi vas zbilja bilo briga koje je nacionalnosti vaš radni kolega ili prvi susjed? Koliko bi vas zanimalo u koju crkvu odlazi i koju religiju prakticira? Oboje ste zaposleni, zadovoljni svojim životom i niste nikakva prijetnja jedno drugom.  Zajedno ćete slaviti rođendane i blagdane i prevladati kulturološke razlike i čak ćete naučiti nešto o nepoznatim običajima, s veseljem. Jer ste zadovoljni, jer vam je država uređena, jer vam djeca imaju mogućnost obrazovanja i imaju budućnost, jer vam izabrani političari nisu uskogrudni sebičnjaci zalijepljeni za fotelje i ne gledaju samo na to kako da što dulje ostanu na vlasti, braneći vlastite povlastice.

Dakle, prestanite kriviti ljude koji traže bolju i mirniju budućnost. To bi sutra moglo biti i vaše dijete. Nestrpljivi mladac koji želi uživati odmah i sada, a ne čekati srednje godine da dobije prvi posao i zasnuje obitelj. Ne krivite vjeru, naciju i boju kože jer su i vaši djedovi odlazili „trbuhom za kruhom“ diljem svijeta i bili su drugačiji u zemlji u koju su došli.

Uzrok problema potražite u nedostatku odgovornosti, počevši od vas samih pa do političara i vlasti koja je izabrana na načina da vi niste izašli na izbore, pod izgovorom da ne možete ništa promijeniti. Uzrok potražite u lošim politikama diljem svijeta, koje iscrpljuju prirodna bogatstva i uništavaju male narode. Uzrok potražite u nesrazmjeru raspodijeljenog bogatstva koje rezultira sve većim siromaštvom i nezadovoljstvom s jedne strane naspram  arogancije i moći s druge strane.  Uzrok potražite u nedostatku humanosti prema drugima.

A sve ovo vraća nas na početak, do vas samih i uvjerenja da vi i onako ne možete ništa promijeniti osim kriviti i mriti druge.

Zatvorili smo krug.

Život ide dalje…  

Osim za one kojih više nema zbog mržnje, straha i jer su nekome bili različiti.

I zato što mislite da ne možete ništa promijeniti.

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Get it off your chest
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Emanuel Paparella2015-11-27 17:42:49
Indeed, this issue of refugees, so called, is totally personal because depending on the reaction to it, it will determine what sort of person one is or eventually will become: either a compassionate human able to imagine others' suffering and tragedies, or a heartless villain concerned only with one's security and well being. The choice of course belongs to each individual but it cannot be ignored. Even ignoring it will sadly lead to one's dehumanization. Let those who have ears, let them hear.

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