Black and White

Is it that simple? Can we simply divide the world into black and white or good and bad? Who decides the criteria and what are the rules to do so? When educating young children we tend to tell them what they should do. We encourage them to do some things a certain way because it is good and we tell them what they shouldn’t do because it’s bad. Prohibition and rules are for many the basis of education. Religions, for example the Catholics, want their followers to be good and do no evil because if not, they will go to hell… Other religions act on the same principle, they promise marvels and beauty, if you’re good and stick to their rules, and punishment or catastrophes, if not…

Is it really that simple? After reading a couple of news in the weekend newspapers of different countries I got really depressed… What is going on with the world? It has never been a very quiet place to live in, but seriously? Right now everything seems to be on the verge of collapsing: wars, epidemics, financial crisis, politics… Just to mention some.

Some time ago I decided not to watch the news on TV anymore because I felt angry and impotent about the news. Usually the news take only 15 minutes of a whole day and they only show what they think is more important and relevant. And as any egoistic human, as we all are… almost every one of us think that doesn’t affect me directly, so… and continues on with their lives ignoring the discomfort that those distant events caused them.

I then decided to read the newspaper, but as you may know, reading only one newspaper gives you only one version of the facts… One particular way of seeing and presenting things explained according to the ideology of the newspaper or magazine… That’s why I decided to take a look at several newspapers all over the world. What did I find? Unfortunately, at the moment everywhere  the same: despair, anger, greed…

Newspapers

The press

(Image from http://www.anglaisfacile.com/exercices/exercice-anglais-2/exercice-anglais-47957.php)

Let me mention some of the articles I was reading about. The very first one about the massacre of the alleged students in Guerrero, a southern Mexican state. They still don’t know who the people were. Officially three students were murdered while 43 others have simply disappeared. They have found a mass grave, but they still don’t know who is lying quietly there.  Were they all students, were other people killed and buried in the mass grave? It’s difficult to tell, who it was and why they did it… The police? The police in combination with the drugs cartel? With or without the approval of the governor?  The military? Awful and sad… On the other hand, one of the big news in Mexican papers was the big and expensive presidential plane, one of the most exclusive and expensive planes in the world, that arrived to the Mexican capital and was handed to the same president… Yuk!

Economists and politicians were very worried because Mexico would present a bad image and the big European and foreign investors could be afraid of the country. And the families, friends and relatives of the victims? And the Mexican people?   Everyone asks me about this case, as if I would know more because I’m Mexican. People over here even try to warn me about going back. They are maybe right, but…

On the other hand living here in a safe place in Western Europe, reading the news, I got confronted with another problem. Because of the ISIS war in the southern border of Turkey with Syria, here in Germany and Europe they have started worrying a lot about all the people looking for political asylum .  It is sadly true, thousands have been arriving to Germany, many to Bavaria and for example, in Munich there is no place where to shelter them. Before school began they started putting people in school gyms. However, school has started and they had to move the people, who arrive from different regions, with different nationalities. Families are often separated from their relatives and are distributed all over the state.  The government has built some tents to shelter them, but Winter is almost here and the nights in Fall are really cold. It has been a big challenge for the German state to organize housing, medical care, food and many other things for them within a very short time. Some politicians want to limit the amount of asylum seekers, which is understandable to a certain extent. But if I imagine, these are people fleeing from war having to leave everything behind, even their dignity… So what is the best way? Where can they go or who can take them? I also read that even Uruguay has offered to take some asylum seekers, and  Uruguay and the Middle East are very far away…

Asylum seekers

Asylum seekers

Image from: https://koptisch.wordpress.com/category/koptische-asylanten/

So in this war who are the good ones and who are the bad ones? Of course, we all agree that those who kill innocent people, especially children, women, old, are bad, but in a war this distinction is kind of grey. Military forces, like Americans or European, “helping” the good ones and bombing theoretical shelters where terrorists are hiding?  This, as we all know, causes casualties or the so called “collateral damage”. What would be the way of solving the conflict? Although in this case, there are no defined two parties. Terrorism in Middle East is difficult to grasp and define so that it can be dealt with. What is the best way to deal with it?

I found a 5 minute explanation of Syria  in the Youtube channel of the “Vlogbrothers”. If you can follow the very fast and lively explanation of this young Youtuber, you may get a good grasp of why it is so complicated. By the way, the brothers are Hank and his brother John Green, a famous writer.  This made me smile a little.

You may want to take a visual guide to the crisis in Iraq and Syria by the New York Times.

To make my morning gloomier, I continued reading the news, trying to digest the next topic: Ebola. When it first started, we all thought, poor Africa, poor black continent, but it’s far. Now things have changed. Ebola is on our doorsteps. I don’t want to sound in panic or very alarmed, but the reality is that there have been more cases in Spain, England and even Texas. We know that it is difficult to get it, but…  Here is the Ebola information sheet of the World Health Organisation .  You can take a look at this very fast, 94 seconds, and clear explanation of ebola here.

Humanity has dealt with other plagues, but at that time the news travelled very slow and I imagine that they were not as “informed” as we are. What makes me nervous is exactly that, are we really “well” informed? For good or for bad?  We all know the secrecy that governments and institutions keep and the ways they can influence people propagating information… So, yes, let’s keep informed, but trying to get the most extensive panorama we can get before panicking, judging or even fighting.

Have a good and relaxing week, if you avoid the news!

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