Understanding or embarrassment?

BegripIn Europe you can presently not close our eyes for what is happening in the world. And I am referring to the many refugees that come our way. It may sound strange, but to me that’s just as important as the fight against GIST.

Initially you would from the many reactions, even from close friends, conclude that there live a lot of extreme-right nationalist egoists in the Netherlands. Persons who loudly and exceptionally fierce and oversimplified react against anyone who is a refugee and tries to reach Europe – and especially the Netherlands. They even shout so hard that you almost believe that every Dutchman is thinking the same.

My first reaction was, frankly, a feeling of embarrassment. Shame for other people, including some friends, family and neighbors who, especially in comparison with the countries where these refugees come from, just have an amazingly good life. It concerns people who are at the run from war, poverty, hunger and violence and therefore seek refuge in Europe. People like us, who just do about anything to get away from areas where they have no future. Who, despite many dangers and high costs, are willing to face a difficult journey. Because they have nothing to lose.

But for some reason it seems that people here frantically try to keep everything to themselves. But, wait a moment! At the same time I realized that perhaps there was something else behind these reactions. Whereby I must be careful not to put everything under the same umbrella indiscriminately. Something of the pot calling the kettle black…..

In short, I decided to reply here and there. By presenting arguments as to why these people are on the run.
Reasons which, incidentally, simply could be found with a little searching on the Internet. And that soon revealed that (thankfully) most of them does not even have so many problems with these refugees. Often people are above all afraid. There is fear for problems that may arise due to a sudden flow of asylum seekers in our society. Insecurity, that is continuously fed by the indiscriminate stories of a screaming minority. Fear, but especially for the unknown.

And look, these are emotions that I can at least understand. A while back I wrote in this blog “A person often suffers the most, by suffering the fears, but which never shows up.” And that goes for both, dealing with GIST as well as accepting refugees.
I for myself read obviously all the stories about cancer with much attention, but continuously try to separate the wheat from the chaff. If only because you should take care that you can differentiate incidents from a general truth. And unconfirmed stories about, for example, the remarkable success of “miracle cures” should not be mistaken for proper and thorough research. (Nice to know, incidentally, is that such messages about refugees often can be identified by the words “This is naturally suppressed by the normal media”. Anyway, if you believe that, then you shall really believe everything).

In other words, if one sets the negative lead, then the chances are subsequently that the positive side can not be seen anymore. But just as not every sports teacher is a pedophile, not every football fan is a hooligan, and not every doctor an haughty bastard (whereby I take the liberty to refer to personal experiences), fortunately not every refugee shall be a money-hungry adventurer.
They are mostly people who are simply looking for a safer and better future. They therefore often had to make difficult, personal choices. Because, quite understandably, they want better opportunities for themselves and their children, without war and violence. That does not mean that there are no bad characters between them. But even that is not much different with Dutch (or European) people.

One comment on “Understanding or embarrassment?
  1. Bianca says:

    Angst is inderdaad een hele grote drijfveer van de mensen.. Ook bij mij. Je verwoord het heel goed… Juist omdat het zo’n actueel onderwerp is, en veelvuldig in het nieuws, merk je dat het overal heerst… Het is inderdaad bij de meest mensen niet, dat ze niet willen helpen… Maar door berichten uit de media, ook bang zijn voor alle veranderingen..’

    Heel mooi geschreven, René…

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