The world is becoming a worse place every day, laments a colleague of mine while sipping a casual coffee in the morning. She said this just a few days after Trump was elected, and our PM started boasting how the PEOTUS loved Hungary.
For the few of us who’d prefer to live in a world without hatred, to cherish life and freedom, and maybe to help others, the list of safe places grows thinner by the day. Because when the “people” elect a crook who, with his (her?) every move and action, fuels racism, xenophobia, ignorance, and poverty – our first thought is to go someplace else where our values are not being mocked and derided.
In the meantime, we see hospitals bombed, thousands of children die, millions of people displaced – and we feel grateful that this isn’t happening to us. But we also see that the best response of our governments is to turn their backs – and our backs – on them, perhaps push them back by force. It’s easy to get popular support for this. In fact, it’s the easiest, or so our governments think.
Social media exposes us to all the causes that a moral person must stand up for. But that’s just an unfathomable mountain of causes. We can’t possibly help them all. We can’t even go out and protest for them all. Then the guilt mounts until our conscience numbs, and slowly we succumb to apathy and bitter inaction. Been there, done that.
I may feel like an animal who lost to evolution. I may frantically look for places to escape. But chances are that by the time I get to the land of my dreams, a crook will be elected there, too. And these days, as little as my foreign accent will get me a good beating.
It’s difficult to survive on these thoughts. So why not turn it around?
Why not get feisty and say it’s not for us to go? It’s for the thiefs, hatemongers, warmongers, scaremongers to get out of here and never return.
It may be impossible. We may finally experience what C. S. Lewis meant by
Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is.
But then – do we still want to help the poor, the victims of war? Do we still want to help the haters stop hating? If we do, we’d better stay where we are, and do everything to bring down the crooks who impose their rule on us, pretending it’s the “will of the people”. We must at least limit their power over us. Help prosecuted refugees, minorities, civil organizations. Run a business, employ people. Start a school, undercover if need be. And first of all, tell our children all about it.
Stand your ground. If they want to get rid of you: they must leave. Not you.