As modes of transport and communication advance, they inherently make the world a smaller place. Many times, we hear news of “the American dream”, “the prosperous EU”, “a new life in Canada” or “going down under; wonderful Australia”.
We all want a better life and such ideas lead people who are living in countries with a stagnant future because of war, climate change, oppressive leadership or a bleak economic situation to consider migration to other countries, seen as offering a better life. This has led to the current prominent issue of migration which we see in Europe with people braving crossing the Mediterranean in boats which barely keep afloat, people from Central America making the arduous journey across Mexico seeking a better life in the USA, with others crossing the sea to Australia also in search of a better life. These amongst others.
On reflection, we can see that there are factions in our societies interested in the grasping of power who have used the immigration “issue” to instil fear and anger in local populations solely to promote their agenda and interest and not truly the interests of the people as they advertise. This has fueled and re-ignited an extremist nationalist movement which we are seeing in the rise of various far-right political groups both in America and Europe. If we look to history and learn from it such ideologies have led to 2 world wars. I ask is this what we want?
At times it feels as if we are losing our humanity. But there is hope and we see this in situations where youths around the world unite to show their concern about global issues like climate change or the rise of violence (as we saw youth uniting in response to school shootings in the USA) and the latest incident in New Zealand where a whole country responded with compassion towards each other to an act that was intended to instil fear and anger.
This brings me to a young Italian boy who when faced with far-right activist protesting in Rome trying to instil and fuel, separation, fear and anger. He did not respond in kind but with compassion. Commenting as follows:
“What you are doing here in Torre Maura is exploiting the anger of the people. You turn this anger into votes, for your interests.”
“This thing of always going against minorities is not OK with me.”
“When you then talk about European funds to invest in the neighbourhood, I think those funds must be spent on everyone.”
“No one should be left behind. Neither the Italians, nor the Roma, nor the Africans should be abandoned.”
Such reaction left the activist dumfounded not knowing how to reach (see the video in link). This is our strength, not separation or segregation but compassion the root to our common humanity.