Feeling afraid – feeling hopeful

Today I felt afraid. This morning. And I think many of you feel the same.
I begin to be more and more reluctant to open my facebook in the morning. More and more often I think “naa… let’s do that later, I’m not in the mood for that yet”. For that.

Mostly my facebook is about hearing news from my friends, laughing about their ideas, their posts, knowing more about their experiences, discussing a little here and there.
These days, facebook is a lot about misery in the world.

Several of my friends posted a meme saying “Is Tarantino directing 2016? That would explain a lot”. That kind of reflects my feelings looking at global news. A truck drives into a group of celebrating people in France, some hundreds of people died in a military coup in Turkey, an Afghan kid attacks Chinese tourists in a train in Germany. Usually, people care about completeness enough to remind everyone that in the meantime there was a terrorist attack in the Philippines as well, two villages in Syria were bombed etc.

Do you know the “Make everything OK button“? magic-button-prew Feels a bit like the expression of our feelings these days. Can’t this just stop again and we live in peace again?

It feels like the whole world is going up in pieces. And it’s happening at a pace and with a dynamic that is just too much to tackle. And I feel that, even knowing from so many friends, of the power one individual can have of actually making a difference in the world.

I think, we (in Europe) are getting a glimpse of what people in most countries experience most of the time. We made a horrible mistake. We opened our borders when people needed our help. And we opened our minds and our news to the information from around the world. Nobody told us it was that bad.

This is half cynical, half honest. I believe quite strongly that we Europeans are the spoilt kids of the world. While most of the world is out there trying to survive, we’re wondering what new gadget to get, how we can get rid of this strange feeling of purposelessness, how we can try to be a little bit more different to stand out. And now suddenly we’re confronted with the tough reality in the world. And it hits us badly, we didn’t go through the hard school to learn how to cope with it.

The other day I saw a map, showing countries in the world which accept large quantities of refugees. There was no European country on that map. The subtitle said: Europe doesn’t have a refugee crisis, it has a moral crisis.

Yes, we hardly accept refugees, in comparison. We hardly have any terrorist attacks, hardly political instabilities. In comparison. But we have so much more of those than we are used to. And that’s tough for us and I think it’s fine to acknowledge it.

Globalization is happening, we know that since a long time. Other places on the globe become more important. Africa, South America, Asia are becoming hotspots of innovation and development and are likely to bypass the “western world”. One of the effects of this globalization seems to be that Europe is being integrated in the world. It’s not so bad, it’s just what is happening out there.

And really, I try to remind myself, it isn’t so bad. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Hans & Ola Rosling’s TED on How not to be ignorant about the world. We’re on our way. We’re moving too slow, way too slow. We have to do way more to survive as a species, or rather not to commit mass murder as we’re committing suicide, but things are getting better instead of worse.

So, things for us in Europe look bleak. For many in the rest of the world, they look better than ever before. Let’s endure a tiny bit of what other people(s) had to endure for a long time, while we’re working on making this work.

And, I’m afraid of the new things that are coming. And excited, somewhere.