On Wednesday 08.09.2020, we attended a demonstration to finally give refuge to refugees in Moria – a horrible refugee camp on lesbos. Moria is burning. People who are already traumatised, desperate and have lost everything except their own life (yet) are now on the streets with little to no support. The situation in Moria has been awful for a long time already. 12.800 people in a temporary camp intended for 2.800! (Source: Greek Government according to Tagesschau.de) Whatever we do now to live up to the most basic human values the EU and its citizens pretend to have it is too late – still – better start today than never.
Here’s this wonderful quote by Rachel Ricketts originally coined talking about becoming anti-racist:
This article has its bottomline first:
Let’s do something about the suffering. Show kindness, compassion (note: empathy is not enough!). Live solidarity. Work towards a world where all humans are treated as such – all humans – that includes refugees – and it includes ourselves. In doing so we deserve to be treated as as humans and have the right to demand it. Compared to what the suffering refugees endure what we can do is little AND! that’s yet another reason why we need to do the little we can. It’s easy and I promise that it feels good. There’s even a study which suggests that altruistic men are perceived as sexier. (It didn’t apply to woman… but that’s a whole different post). Helping others makes ourselves feel better, it makes us happier. So help even for selfish reasons – don’t you want to be happy too?
Here’s what we can do to help refugees and subsequently ourselves:
- donate for example to Seebrücke.org, OpenArms.es
- [edit 17.09.2020] support the change.org pedition
- talk about it
- get others to join
- get in touch with your local politicians, with your EU politicians
- campaign for your town, city to become a safe harbour
- stay engaged – we need you/ be gentle with yourself – we need you
And now to the actual post.
I remember when Notre Dame was burning. It was in the news and it was a sad event and there were donations in no time. Which I think was great. Now how great would it be if the 12.800 HUMANS would receive similar kindness and compassion?
I feel helpless at times and raw and desperate and guilty for my own comfort. How much privilege do I hold when I can sit around having a shitty day in all my comfort and whom does that help? So I try to let the comfort charge my batteries and then I go out and take action.
I am not saying supporting the Notre Dame is wrong. I am saying AND how about the people in Moria? The kids without parents in Moria? The people who lived in a camp for years which had 12.800 inhabitants and was build for 2.800? The people who were locked down in there after the first few had Covid-19. Locked down in a camp where 1.5m distance to others is absolute luxury.
Yesterday during the demonstration, I was thinking about our idea of solidarity, and I think almost everybody is willing to share – in theory. The challenge is that most people are only willing to share under certain conditions – myself included. And those conditions I think can, for the most part, be boiled down to the feeling of safety. If I feel safe I am willing to share.
What is your condition for solidarity? What do you need to feel safe?
If I am looking at Jeff Bezos, I would say he should have enough. Enough financial safety – emotional safety we can’t directly buy, physical safety only to a certain degree. If we drill deep enough the question is not money or possessions. It boils down to love and acceptance. Do I feel loved? Unconditionally loved and unconditionally accepted? By myself and by others? And do they accept the love I want to give them and vice versa.
Now I can’t buy emotional safety, and Jeff Bezos can’t buy it either – he can make people depend on him and obey, which is a bad substitute. I doubt that he is above the need for emotional safety and acceptance. Steve Jobs had all the money and still died of cancer. There is no physical safety to be bought either. Physical and emotional risk is connected to money. It increases and decreases with the money you have, but absolute safety can not be bought. Maybe if we can upload our thinking into a computer – but that’s not our consciousness but rather a copy of the brain processes… I’ll write about that another day. It’s a fascinating topic)
With money and possessions and power we are trying to control an unknown future. We won’t be able to control it no matter how powerful or wealthy we are. I believe the best investment is a kind and compassionate society where we know we will get help if we need help. It is both an emotional and financial investment! For me, that’s the best way to control the future.
Bad things will happen. I do now know when, where, to whom, how or what. What if I can trust that there will be support? That there are people who will help?Solidarity
It’s a soothing thought. And that’s why I want to be the person how helps. Because I am in a position to help. Everyone is at some point in the position to help in one way or another.
Solidarity and support, kindness and compassion are our most reliable ways to control the future.
And just like love solidarity shouldn’t come with conditions. I am struggling with both. I have the intention. And I am trying. Let’s all try.