You, who are frightened of refugees, immigrants, gypsies, liberals, gays, Muslims, Jews, the poor, and the homeless – you, who are scared that they will blow you up, take your job, rob you, patronize you, seduce you, convert or else kill you, cheat you, soil you – please stop and think a little.
Where does your fear come from? And what will you do with it?
Were you told to be frightened? By someone of power, by someone you look up to? By someone who can take you in their shadow and make you feel strong?
Did you check the truth of the things they told you?
Are you so scared now that you want to act to defend yourself? That you came to hate the refugee, the immigrant, the gypsy, the liberal, the gay, the Muslim, the Jew, the poor, or the homeless? Are you so scared that you can no longer even talk to those who don’t fear these people? Are you so scared that you can no longer talk to those who don’t hate like you do?
Did you find yourself a camp, a banner, a fortress where you think you will be protected? Do you feel you need to swear your allegiance?
Maybe by walking in a polling booth and scratching an X where it says NO (or Brexit, or Trump, for that matter)? By scratching with such force that will rip the sheet?
And when you’re done, what next? Do you think the fear will subside? Do you think the hatred will go away?
What happens if they won’t? Will you turn away from everyone who needs help? Will you just sit and nurse your rage? What happens when it boils over?
Will you write angry posts? Will you vent to your friends? And when that doesn’t help, will you take to the street and beat up the refugee, the immigrant, the gypsy, the liberal, the gay, the Muslim, the Jew, the poor, and the homeless? Will you take and break what little they still have?
Or will you march to the border, and repel them with force and with arms, standing up heroically to the unarmed?
I have good news: you don’t have to do this. You were given power to escape. You were given power: intelligence and free will. You are much stronger than you think.
When you catch yourself being scared and full of hatred because someone told you to be scared and to hate: don’t forget that they are not doing this for you. They are doing this for themselves. To lure you into their shadow, and drain your strength to become stronger. To make you give up your intelligence and your will, in exchange for a false promise of protection and of strength in unity.
When someone tells you to be frightened and to hate, they always want one thing: to rule you and control you. But you deserve better.
It’s easy to be scared, to hate, to align with those who brag about being strong. But you pay a terrible price: you lose everything that makes you human.
If you stay human, if you step out of the shadow, if you don’t let the unworthy rule you; then you will see the refugee, the immigrant, the gypsy, the liberal, the gay, the Muslim, the Jew, the poor, and the homeless, for what they really are: humans whose life isn’t worth less than yours. This doesn’t degrade your life. It lifts up theirs.
Naturally, you get to defend yourself against those who approach you with bad intentions. But only against those. You don’t get to attack the thousands and the millions who look similar but never hurt you and don’t want to. Wait, so you need to recognize those with bad intentions? And you need to think and work on this?
Through intelligence and free will, you were given power to do just that, no matter whether you are citizen or authority. You are human in order to see for yourself and act as you see fit – not as others do. You don’t have to chase away, beat up, or murder those who are different to you, just to be protected.
You don’t have to be scared, you don’t have to hate, you don’t have to let others rule you.
You are better than this. You are strong. You are human.
(The photo at the top is my own and it shows the entrance of Aleppo castle in 1993)
This post was translated from a Hungarian note I posted on Facebook earlier.