Here we are again. Another batch of terrorist attacks in Europe, this time in Belgium, followed by a storm of empty words and emptier actions in the media. Politicians of every color and denomination, so-called leaders and not-so-famous people, a lot of noise and zero solutions. What you hear is the voice of fear.
Beware, the word “fear” is not attached only to random acts of violence. It’s the label that our brain uses to set up a form of defense against everything we don’t know, a red wall that should keep out of our existences all the changes we don’t approve or understand. There are a whole lot of people out there who get rich pumping fear in the media mainstream. Guess what, they’re getting richer any day.
It looks like that Europe forgot its own past and the real meaning of change. No human society in history has been the same for a long period of time and the last two centuries has been fast and faster in this matter. Think about your own country, how much it changed under the pressure of two world wars, the end of the colonization era and the growing pressure of globalization? No matter where you live, changes have always been under way and will develop your country into something different.
I read both in English and in Italian, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve found op-ed and statement from every kind of person who referred to some form of golden era, when things were easier and simplest. In such wonderful period everybody got a good job, there were no wars at the gates and the poor were located elsewhere, away from our eyes. This is nothing but a fairy tale, even Disney stopped short to tell us this kind of stuff anymore. The golden age never existed, nor we ever had a less pretentious silver age. In any decade of the last two centuries we had some war, some economic crisis, some form of social conflict – more often two or more together.
After the WWII the European countries experienced the longest period ever of peace, that’s true. Better, it’s a partial truth.
We stop to move war to each other, inside the European borders. But we still had the Cold War well present in our continent, and all the countries that controlled colonies in Asia and in Africa had to face the end of their domination, we had regimes in existence (Spain, Portugal, Greece) and some attempt of coup d’etat (France, Italy). Then we had a lot of terrorist organization, European and non-European, on the move. Do you remember the names of Rote Armee Fraktion, Action Directe, Brigate Rosse? What about Irish Republican Army, OAS or ETA? Not to mention PLO, Black September or such.
So tell me, where the Hell it was the Arcadia envisioned in the golden era?
The naked truth is that we can’t deny change. Nor we can control it. The best practice is try to direction the change, in a way similar to the moves of a surfer while riding a wave. This is a more complex world and it will become more difficult in the years to come. We will see regime ends and new governments rise, we will testimony the end of nations and the birth of new countries. I tell you, we will have more fear in the future. We will learn to have new kinds of fear and we will have to learn how to live with them. The real choice in our hands, now and in the future, will be about what to do. If we will choose to live in fear, that will be our doom. If we will choose to confront our fears and put our best talents to solve problems, then we will have a future.
So choose, it’s up to you.
Listen to the voice of fear or stand up to speak for yourself.