A Time to Be Kind

Christmas can have many different meanings for each individual, for some it could mean joy, family, tradition, for others it could be a time for mourning or reflection. But for all those who celebrate Christmas, it should be a time to forgive, to give, to be tolerant and kind.

What I have seen today at our romanian traditional Christmas meal was nothing like it – and with politics and economics subtly becoming the predominant subjects at our family gathering, I couldn’t help but notice a very heated conversation filled with a lot of hate, prejudice and misunderstanding coming right from the people who had raised me to be so open-minded and who had always encouraged me to go and experience other nations and cultures. Why is that? When did we become better or superior to other human beings that we feel we can judge and put stamps so easily on other people? Since when do we get to decide if a person has a right to live or to die?

Morally speaking, it is indeed absurd to assume that we have this power. Realistically speaking, we have done this for centuries, haven’t we? What else are wars if not a number of decisions which in the end lead to millions of people dying while others continue living their comfortable lives? We should not feel guilty for being safe and away from all the pain millions of people are going through right now, but we should at least be empathetic and not so eager to think that the refugees, for example, are here to destroy the unity of Europe.

Today I have heard a lot of superficial, ”brainwashed” opinions on how the refugees are going to be the end of us, on how among them ISIS terrorists are making their way in the heart of Europe, on how Germany’s politics affect the Union, on how Islam is such a controversial religion and many more. I don’t want to blame anyone for having such a shallow approach on this topic, mainly because in countries like Romania, which don’t have so much power to have a voice of their own, media is being highly influenced by the alliances they are part of – but let’s not forget the stakes in this crisis, let’s not forget the parts America and Russia are playing, neither the importance of the rich Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – let’s not be so naive to think that this conflict being so close to the largest oil resource on Earth has nothing to do with the actions the big players take, neither how important the global import and export of weapons is in this conflict.

So what is left then? To expect the Russians (who have very different interests in the area, one of them being their support for Syria’s president Assad, which contradicts a lot with the West’s actions) to find a solution? And if a solution will be found – definitely not in the near future and not necessarily by the Russians – who will be the ones who will benefit from it?

Somehow I don’t believe that the millions of refugees scattered around Europe will be the ones who have a lot to win from this – and let’s not forget that many of these people will, for sure, want to go back to their homes, to their families, to whatever they have left behind. Can we tell them what they will go back to? We definitely can not. But can we at least show them that we are human enough to feel a bit of their pain and despair and to climb down from this cloud we’re on and maybe to prove that we are at least trying to understand what is going on in their lives? I think we can – and i think we should. So, with the Christmas spirit in our hearts, let’s light our minds a bit and stop being so terrified of losing our comfort while others haven’t even experienced it.

And just light a candle and think for a moment at all those who are out there in the cold right now.
Merry Christmas!

Written by Alexandra

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