Para Ser Humano


Crimes against humanity permeate all corners of our planet. I saw a kid with a mullet on the metro the other day. Every day I have to read inspirational quotes people have shared on Facebook. This morning I woke up with a mild hangover and had forgotten to put a bottle of water by my bed for the morning. It doesn´t bare thinking about does it?

I mean, would you just look at the bloody news?

Storm Imogen is being a right bastard. The Obamas aren’t satisfied with their Wi-Fi coverage in the White House. A leopard lost the bleeding plot in a school in India, police are interviewing him to determine the motive. Cameron is trying to reassure us that he will raise ferry prices to ensure the wild children from the Jungle, Nord-pas-de Calais, won´t ever see the blue birds of Dover. AK-47s raised their ugly nozzles once again in Ireland. 27 more nameless humans drowned of the Turkish coast. Prisoners in Syria are still being systematically murdered by Assad´s cronies…

There are wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Somalia, Turkey, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Mexico, Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

We can only hope that our supreme leader and saviour, Donald Trump, will send us a divine message telling us how to clear this all up.

It´s easy to give up on humans. We´re crap. Total crap.

It doesn´t help that the people who represent us on the world stage are blighted with the same disease of being homo sapiens. It´s playground politics really, homo sapiens will forever want better shoes than their friends. There´s always that one kid who will punch you in the stomach for a cheese and onion crisp. Or the weirdo who tortures stray cats in their spare time.

We can pretend as much as we like that in our ever-enlightened world there is no place for racism, but imagine a “swarm” of migrants and what do you see?

Dehumanisation, too, comes in handy when squinting at reality. We can´t kill a human but we can kill a rat. We couldn´t bomb a human, but we could bomb the “scum”.  How could we possibly deal with a swarm of migrants, swarms of stuff are never good. Waves are dangerous, too.

We can´t imagine the horror that some people have to live day in and day out. So we often just don´t.

But I find it odd how the people who lose faith in humanity aren´t living the nightmare. We can edit our own reality; turn the news off if we find it too distressing, we can say “oh, god, I don´t want to know”, we can text a donation to plaster over the guilt.

What drives people to sail across the Mediterranean on raft? Desperation no doubt, but perhaps a faith in humanity, too? Faith that their fellow human beings will help them. And for a time that was the European mood, people went to train stations in Germany with toys and blankets and food to meet and greet their new arrivals. Sweden accommodated thousands of people. Then a migrant murdered an aid-worker, and then shelters were burned down and fascists took to the streets again. And then there were incidents of sexual harassments across Europe. And we reveal racist thinking by trying to find patterns and connections of culture in a mass of people with one identity: migrants.

People are great, I think. This morning Fi bought me bread. In Iran people invited me for dinner nearly every day. In Turkey a man paid for my bus-ride. Perhaps it´s just impossible to consider the human race as a whole, and when we do the patterns of behaviour we find, or at least concentrate on are largely negative. I´d argue that the forces for good are found in the individual and miniscule transactions of everyday-life. Saying hello to someone is nice. Tipping a waiter is nice. Parting with an object is nice. Squeezing someone´s arm mid-conversation is nice. Thinking about someone is nice. Being concerned about someone is nice. Being concerned about people you´ve never met is just as nice.

When I start to lose my faith in humanity, I just try to focus on the details.

I will remember to put that water bottle by my bed tonight, though.

One thought on “Para Ser Humano

  1. Interesting post. I wonder, what good comes from dehumanizing others. I’m not asking that ironically. If we are so good at it, and as humans we are, it clearly emerged for a reason.

    Btw, how well is Europe assimilating immigrants, in your opinion?


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