Following the news these days I can’t help but wonder: Is history really repeating right in front of our eyes?
I mean … everybody does know what we’re facing during the years, probably decades to come. Thinking about it now everybody did know back then, when I was a child. Back then “in the old days”, the air was full of sorrow for our generation whom everybody believed to have to pay the bills in the end. They did know just too well how little perspectives where there for us and in what kind of a run down world we would have to life.
A good twenty years have passed by since the demonstrations and the mourning of my childhood. Another good ten years since my generation rose to their feet – and failed in being completely ignored by those in charge. And during all these decades, deep inside, we’ve all known what was going to happen. Our parents as well as us self. We knew that the world we were living in wasn’t going to stay like this forever; that my generation would come to live in a gravely changed, newly shaped world. We knew that the fat years had come and ended and the years to come would be the meager ones. We all knew but we didn’t speak up – neither us nor our parents – probably being in a horrifying state of denial hoping that, in the end, a miracle would rescue us.
Do you know the famous quote by Martin Niemoller on the Third Reich?
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Don’t we see just the same these days with social group after social group sliding out of a independent life into complete dependency on state aid and/or total dependency on the one job they have and possibly the only one they can get?
They first came for the unemployed, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t unemployed.
Then they came for the leased labourers, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t a leased labourer.
Then they came for middle class entrepreneurs, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t an middle class entrepreneur.
Then they came for the recent graduates, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t a recent graduates.
When they come for us , who will be there to speak up?
In fact, I think, our parents are our only hope. Those, who are, or will soon be retired. Those who have used their life’s work and the resources we now lack to build up stable finances, networks, a good home and some true friends. Since it’s them, who can speak up; it’s them who are not yet dependent on those we need to speak up against. It’s strange but it need to be the same networks and the same people that have led to the current situation that we now need to stand up for us, for the generation who has seen little but loss during their lifes; loss of hopes, loss of independence, loss of the whole worth living around us.
I know, from deep within, that we can still turn all of this around; that we can build a world worth living in again – together. All of us have learned our lessons, even though some are in denial – but I bet deep within they do know, they have learned.