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Thursday, 28 December 2017

2018 should be year in which we throw away the shackles of fear and anger that keep us locked and just start to live with each other again, like we always did.

Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering…

Star Wars 1- The Phantom Menace was far from the best film in the Star Wars series. This was due to the fact that George Lucas paid so much for his computer equipment and computer artists, in order to develop all these extraterrestial cities, vehicles and creatures, that he had to save money otherwise spent on a real good script.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned quote by the wise Jedi Master Yoda in the movie, is spot on. How spot on it is, can be seen on a daily basis. 

People all over the world, often under the “inspired leadership” of their governments, are talking each other deep into a depression, based upon fear, anger and resentment against other groups of people: 
  • Fear for poverty and for losing their current lifestyle, caused by others;
  • Fear for an unbalanced budget and for “squandering tax money” on wasted social security;
  • Fear to lose one’s wealth, due to national taxes;
  • Fear that the multinational corporations either leave one's country or don’t want to establish themselves overthere;
  • Fear to lose the euro due to the Greek and Italian mountain of debt;
  • Fear to lose the battle for economic prosperity to the Chinese and Indian people;
  • Fear for the radical islam;
  • Fear for terrorism on people's home turf;
  • Fear that normal people might grow bad ideas regarding the government;
  • Fear for unfavourable climate change AND fear that saving the climate might come at the expense of the economy's health ;
  • Fear that someone else might have it better than ourselves.
In other words: there is a lot of fear in modern societies. A whole lot of fear… And that the fear leads to anger and resentment (even hatred) is also crystal clear. 

The leadership of for instance American president Donald Trump is largely based on fearmongering and protecting himself and his rich friends from dangers that are not really palpable, but attend to feelings of insecurity in American society.

In the process he makes promises to the average middle and lower class Americans that he won’t keep, while his promises to his wealthy friends and especially himself are rocksolid.

The same is true for the presidencies of Vladimir Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping in China. 

Both are extremely afraid for the forces in society that could end their presidency untimely, while at the same time they are robbing society from the money that it earned and deserved... Therefore they are using every trick in the book (and outside the book) to prevent anything – aimed against their position  from happening.

And even in the more moderate Europe a lot of decisions have been fear-based... 

Take the Brexit, which was based on fearmongering and longing for a imaginative situation, that in reality has never existed. Or take the South- and East-European leaders with their outrageous fear for the islamist immigrants and the societal unrest coming from dissidents within their own country.

They are closely followed by the cowardice and ignorant North- and West-European leaders, who are willingly shutting their eyes towards the deteriorating situation in Greece and Italy; countries which “have to keep their own pants up” (i.e. Dutch expression).

“Keeping the budget clean and being frugal” is their eternal mantra that should prevent the Northern and Western countries from showing a human face towards the countries that saved them from the “refugee influx”: Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. "Pity is good, as long as it doesn't cost us money!"

All of this is fear in disguise. And just like in the Star Wars movie, this fear leads to anger and – if we don’t look out very carefully – to hate and suffering. Just like it did during World War 1 and 2 and during the numerous other wars that have been fought in the meantime.

Would it not be great when we could simply stop being afraid for all these useless fears?! And start to care for the things that are really important?

Personally, I don’t give a rat’s behind whether the headoffice of Shell and other (paper) headoffices would leave The Netherlands. We have already been too long taken hostage by these companies with their demands and lobby for customized regulation, that is eventually bad for the country; not good!  

The climate and the heating of the earth, however, decide whether my beloved city Almere will be threatened by the rising tides of the 21st Century. That would be a real threat for my wife and me and (especially) for my children and future grandchildren.

And the increasingly erratic behaviour of our world leaders is also a direct threat for world peace: after the devastating explosion happened, it is not so important anymore what caused the fatal spark. Now, however, it is important to prevent this spark from setting everything on fire.

Mass immigration, even though an important theme for the future, is never the fatal ingredient for riots and civil war to these eyes and especially not in the current situation with moderate immigration.

Look at for instance Jordan and Turkey and decide how much these countries are destabilized by the influx of the millions of refugees that they received. And then think how much the tens of thousands of refugees could destabilize Europe. You can do the math…

To name an important cause for the current fear in society and at the same time debunk its influence: islamic – or other kinds of – terrorism are painful and cruel for a country, but not a fatal cause of revolts either.

Look for instance at the United States, where domestic violence and even ‘involuntary manslaughter’ by toddlers(!), are causings many more deaths than (islamic) terrorism in 2017. If you are afraid to be killed in an attack, please be careful for your husband, your wife and your children. And for your own gun, of course!. As this is the sad truth in the United States.

Yet, worldwide governments are starting to treat all their citizens as possible suspects of dangerous crimes. People that need to be closely monitored by street cameras, eavesdropping of telephone, mobile channels and the internet, as well as all other kinds of vigilant pursuit.

Citizens are not trusted as good people that can be mostly left alone without governmental hindrance. 

No, they are seen as theoretically bad people that must be closely followed to prevent bad plans from happening. And the worst thing is: when intelligent and angry people have really bad plans, the governmental agents are in some cases not in time to stop them from fullfilling their plans. 

And after every (extremely rare) successful attack, the need for more vigilant pursuit is expressed by attention-hungry politicians, useless as it is to stop all bad things from happening. Thus millions of good people have to suffer for a few bad people, by losing their privacy and everything that is dear to them "for the greater good", which is bad in fact.

Let 2018 be the year in which the trust in each other returns. The year in which we take societal risks for what they are: sometimes dangerous, but seldomly fatal for society. 

The year in which we disclose populists and cynical demogogues for what they are: pathetic parasites that feed upon other people’s fear and misery in their daily cries for attention.

I know a lot of people, but I know very few really bad people. They do exist and they can be dangerous for myself and my loved ones. 

But probably the most dangerous people are politicians who see everywhere enemies of the country and who think they have the solution for every problem.  

They are people who are willing to sacrifice everything – except for themselves and their loved ones – for their ideas and solutions. Especially when they think that everyone, who does not agree with them, is a potential enemy of the country. We know already where this leads, as we saw this film before...

So let’s celebrate 2018 as the year of the return of common sense and friendship: in politics and in our daily lives. 

Let us have that, instead of hostility between people. Let us throw away the shackles of fear and anger that keep us locked up in ourselves and our self-destructive ideas. The pied pipers of fear will not guide the way to more prosperity and happiness. 

Life is beautiful and we should spend the short time that we are around on this earth to create things of beauty and joy for each other. Let us not spend our lifetimes in fear and anger, but in joy and amazement. 

That is my wish for the new year 2018. 

1 comment:


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