There are too many ways to fool one’s brain. Look around. What you see is not real. What you see is a reflection of reality interpreted by your brain. There’s even an expression for that, when obvious things are invisible to me or you, we can’t see the forest because of all those damn trees. Yes, it’s true, it’s a problem and it won’t go away. It happened to me, it has happened to you and it will keep on happening. My glasses were right in front of me. My phone was in my hand. And yet, I didn’t see them. Sometimes the brain plays tricks on us because it’s … well, for the lack of a better word, lazy. The brain doesn’t want to work that much so what it does is to remember the most frequent shapes and identification markers for the most frequent things we usually look for – and instead of identifying everything we see, it tries to identify only those things I’ve mentioned. It’s like a commercial radar that only sees transponders instead of a military one that actually sees things that fly. Less work and faster response time, yes, but it comes with a small print to shame a banker. Your response time is faster but you sometimes you’ll fail so hard it’ll be funny jackass style..
We have people looking for work, for safety, for a better life not just for them but for their children and even their pets. They’ve risked their lives to get here. And about half of Europe is willing to reject them because they fear terrorists and the loss of jobs. That’s their reason for risking other people’s lives by sending them back – they fear it’ll come around and bite them in the arse. They’re doing it because they’re afraid and because nobody’s willing to tell them any different. As for their leaders, the politicians, the ones who have been elected by the common citizen in a job that basically pays them to take all the worry and fear and problems and solve them, they don’t care. They only care about their jobs and their money and because they’ve been elected in that position, they believe they have to give the people what they want – only that’s the wrong choice. What do you give somebody who doesn’t have the faintest idea what he or she needs but knows exactly what they want – and it isn’t what they need?
People don’t know there is a limit to money, sometimes an either/or situation the likes of “you want to starve in summer or freeze in winter?”. Too often there isn’t much to spend. So more money for me today means more taxes tomorrow. But there’s a smart move we aren’t making because of it, we aren’t thinking about who we elect. Yanks got Trump and his lot to worry about, we got him too – each country has one of those. The whole job description for our leaders elect can be summed up in just one line of text: “we pay you to lead us in such a way that our quality of live improves, our economy gets better and everything you do is supposed to make our lives better”. Do we have it better now than 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago? Not bloody likely.
I’ve made up my mind eventually, because after 3 decades of wandering about, blind and naive, I somehow found enlightenment – there is no way to please everybody, therefore it’s stupid to believe you could. The first time I adopted the “never give up” principle I’m so fond of, I had trouble making it work for me. That particular philosophy on life and the universe doesn’t work everywhere. You see, it only works to keep you on target. If you try to “never give up” when you’re wrong, it won’t make it right. If you try to shoot the moon with a revolver, you won’t succeed. It won’t matter if you give up or not – you’re confusing the target with the method. The target isn’t to shoot the moon with a revolver, it’s to put a bullet on the moon – the shooting of the moon (moon moon, heh, I’ve been corrupted by 9gag, google it and know your memes) with a revolver is the method and you have to admit, it’s a pretty lame one to begin with. You could try it with a Beretta, Kalashnikov or even a bloody sniper rifle and you’ll fail no matter how many times you try. Unless you fire it from an Earth-Moon L1 Lagrange point and from a vacuum-proof rifle that won’t go bad in those extreme conditions. See? The method changed but the goal is now possible(ish).
There’s even a joke about it, I think I’ve mentioned it before but now I’d like to make it right – Would you jump out of an airplane without a parachute for 10 million quid? If that’s the whole context, then yes, I would. Because the goal is to jump out of the airplane without a parachute and survive. The method is how I might accomplish that goal. What would satisfy both criteria – jumping without a parachute and surviving? Well, the context needs to be defined. A Cessna 172 is an airplane. It’s extremely small. And nobody said anything about the airplane flying when I jump, ergo it can be parked on the ground. And nobody said anything about a big pillow, either – but I will use one anyway because my arse is quite valuable to me. Therefore I could jump out of a parked, not moving (feel I ought to emphasize this) Cessna 172 onto a big fluffy pillow and get 10 million quid. See? Mission accomplished. Lateral thinking depends on you correctly spotting the target and the means to get there.
Do you believe that those refugees would be welcome with open arms if Europe was economically booming and there’d be no terrorist threat? You bet yer arse they’d be welcome. If everybody was positive about the future, nobody would mind a few more people. That’s the whole point of this “little” two-part “essay”. There is a way for us to keep our humanity and still be safe. There is a way to help refugees and still be safe. Hell, there are many more possible solutions to this problem. We just don’t try them. Why not? Because, my friend, most of us don’t even know they exist. We’re chasing the wrong tornado. Our leaders only tell us what they want us to know because either they don’t know (which is bad, it means they’re incompetents in that area) another way or they think the people who elected them are more important than the whole damn country (which is worse, because they think we deserve it). It’s like catching your wife with another man and in between a couple of millenia your wife shouts at you: “are you going to believe your eyes or are you going to believe exactly what I’m telling you?”. Yea, that’s how politics works. The game is played like this because the other side has to lose the elections, not because the country has to be better. What? Exactly.
There is a perfect storm about to be created, a problem with just one solution – a united Europe, one with just one law, leadership, economy and security – but that solution will be in the blind spot of this generation’s political leadership. Why? Because they won’t be able to think and behave like that, they are used to doing things solo, they have never worked as a team before. This united Europe is outside their reality and because of that, Europe is divided and each country in Europe is divided, split along every little thing like ethnicity, religion, wealth or job security. Blue eyes versus green eyes, christians versus muslims and both of them versus atheists, orthodox versus catholics, both versus protestants, bigots against gipsies, everybody against immigrants, you name it, it’s all here. The problem isn’t who’s right or wrong, the problem is they all know they’re becoming extinct and therefore they have to fight here and now or face obsolescence. National boundaries are disappearing slowly and that affects only the racists – let’s face it. That’s why religion and ethnic nationalism go hand in hand – they both proclaim the superiority of something and the disaster that comes with thinking and being different. One currency can’t work without a unified mechanism of controlling that currency and how valuable that currency is depends on how its well the economy does. Then why are we expecting the euro to work when there’s a dozen finance ministers going Rambo on everything and not doing a damn thing even if a country falsifies its financial reports, for instance? Yes, it’s complicated. What exactly have they done to prevent another financial crisis? Have bankers been found guilty? Have they created laws to improve risk management? Have they broken up banks that were “too big to fail”? No? What have they done, then? Nothing much. The public debt is bigger than it was before 2008 and all the money sort of went to the bankers that helped create the whole mess. Does any of this make any sense to you, at all?
Sometimes we catch our leaders lying. Sometimes we can’t prove it. However, we aren’t holding them responsible for their mistakes or for making the incorrect choice. Every CEO there is out there starts his or her job with a list of targets to achieve in a certain amount of time – profits, sales, R&D, brand recognition and so on and if they don’t achieve those targets, they get fired. Why aren’t we using that in politics? Because the politicians make the laws? No. Because we’re afraid to step outside the box. We seem to believe this issue has to be handled individually, that we have to go at it solo and assume the mantle of leadership. We’re wrong. We don’t have to replace them, or put our names on a new political party as founders. There is a solution to this, but you won’t like it. We don’t see the forest because of all those trees. We’re just like them. Frightening scenario, isn’t it?