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The Third View

The third viewOr: How about a human version?  
For or against. Vaccinated or not vaccinated. Solidary or lacing in solidary. Corrupt or good-people. Unconventional thinker or normal thinker. Rich or poor. Elite or ordinary people. At the moment there seem to be basically only two opinions, - that of the good guys (us, of course) and that of the bad guys (the others, of course). We know this from "Lord of the Rings", where the good guys are the good guys and the bad guys are the bad guys, there is nothing in between. In fairy tales for adults, everything is so beautifully simple. But we don't live in the world of fairy tales, we live in the here and now, in a society where an unhealthy climate has developed, in which distance, bossiness and not listening dominate. If one thinks about this for a moment, questions arise:  Where are the people who stand up for dialogue? How often have we heard the word "compassion" lately? Do we still know that dissenters have the right to think differently? Where is what makes us human, where is what we used to understand by "humanity"? Has it disappeared or just become invisible?

First the human being, and then the opinion.
Let's try for once to move away from the nowadays usual bossiness, exaggeration or understatement, from blaming, conspiracy theories, accusations, certificates of incompetence, etc., as well as from visions of the end times or simple panic propagation. Let us try to imagine a view based on humanity, understanding, wisdom and compassion. Is that difficult? After all, it is precisely these qualities that make us human in the first place. It's about taking a step back. No matter what someone's opinion is, simply take a little distance from one's own position and see in the other person first the human being, not what he or she represents or stands for. The "others" are mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, truck drivers, nurses, bread sellers, computer scientists, artists. Just like you. 
We are all human beings with gifts and flaws, we are all part of a global human family. We are the same and yet different. We all want the best for our children. We have the same goal, to live happy, healthy and in peace. We are all in the same boat, whether we like it or not, and if it sinks, we all sink. If you realise that for once, it should not be difficult for you not to think for a moment that your own opinion is the only right one. 
Please realise that we will not find a solution as long as we are against each other, but only if we talk to each other and together create a space that offers enough room for solutions and alternatives to unfold. Even if the word "without alternatives" enjoys great popularity in certain circles, we know one thing for certain: there are always alternatives. Anyone who denies this has probably never opened a history book or spent history lessons in mental absence. Democracy itself emerged from "no-alternative" feudalism. By the standards of the time, feudalism was without alternative. Just as any system that has power and is nearing its end always presents itself as having no alternatives. After that, it is only a small step to drastic measures such as expelling or imprisoning a - quite large - part of the population because this part behaves differently, thinks differently and lives differently. There are many indications of this in the current discourse, both in the "official" social discourse and in the so-called "alternative" discourse.
Whether our opinion about "Corona" is, seeing it as the worst sanitary crisis since the plague, or only a flu with a good advertising campaign, try to recognise in the first place the human being and then what he or she thinks or believes. A little self-doubt about your own opinion can't hurt either, because it could be possible that you are not 100% correct. We should remember that science would be unthinkable without doubt, even more so that our progress would not have taken place without doubt. The American and French revolutions would not have changed history without doubt about the status quo, women would still be the "property" of men today, without those extraordinary woman's who doubted reality (keyword "without alternative"), and that these women were also afflicted with self-doubt is self-evident.  To put it even more clearly, not questioning ourselves, forbidding others to have an opinion and "dehumanising" our fellow human beings by reducing them to abstract concepts (elites, contrarians, vaccination fanatics, etc.) has a name - fundamentalism, fanaticism, talibanism, fascism ... In these systems there is no room for humanity and there is only one opinion, that of the stronger. Do we really want to be like this? 
Why this noise? Why do we behave like toddlers in the sandbox instead of taking responsibility? For that, we should ask ourselves a fundamental question. What makes us human in the first place? Is it goodness, dignity, compassion - or hatred, envy, greed? Do we want to continue to insist on being right, to reproach others for what they are doing wrong, or do we finally want to start finding solutions together?
The world we create and leave to our children is in our hands. It can be a world in which we talk to each other and solve problems together. It can also be one in which we fight each other and forcefully impose our opinions in the name of health, freedom or other ideals. The first option only works if we practise openness towards others and pass that on to our children.
History teaches us an important lesson, namely that crises are opportunities. Thanks to crises, we have developed into what we are today. And so we could also use this crisis. In this context, let's take a look at the good old "normality" to which we want to return as soon as possible. Every day 35,000 people starve to death, while food is speculated on the stock exchanges, and we throw away about 1/3 of our food. Our progress is built on the destruction of the planet. We vehemently refuse to acknowledge the historically proven fact that power corrupts, and that the powerful people create a class for themselves that pursues their own interests, not those of the people. To call someone a conspiracy theorist for pointing out the connections between politics and money is completely absurd, because politics always goes hand in hand with big money. It is equally absurd to portray western democracy as a monopoly where some grey eminences plan everything.
So let's put down the everyday noise for a while and think about why we behave like quarrelling children in a sandbox. What is behind it? What drives us to stop talking to each other?

It is fear.Fear perfectly explains our behaviour in times of Corona. This is the real virus.
Fear seems to be everywhere at the moment. Some are afraid of the virus. This is without doubt understandable, because Covid-19 is a deadly virus, and we should offer our deepest sympathy to the people who have been sickened by it, as we do to every human being who suffers. The others are afraid of a digital surveillance state. This is also justified, because it is already a reality in China, and China has, after all, set the standards for pandemic control. And finally, those who are afraid of poverty. This fear is also understandable, because the measures have had devastating economic effects and driven millions into extreme poverty, while a few are making profits like never before. But that is a different issue.
The problem with fear is that it paralyses, we can no longer think clearly in a fearful state and make decisions out of emotion. But that is no basis for good politics. What is particularly bad, however, is that fear makes us do things we would never do under normal circumstances, things we even deeply despise. "Fear Eats the Soul", the title of the Fassbinder film fits the bill here. Haven't we already seen enough misery? Do we need to create even more misery by refusing to simply listen to others?Every fear has its reasons, and thus everyone is also partly right. This should be our starting position to find solutions. When we affirm the other as a human being as a fundamental basis for communication, we open a wide space. Every human being has the right to be human, it is his birthright, and his privilege. It is his responsibility to create humanity wherever possible. 

Compassion is a real option
The author would like to invite you to do a little exercise. It won't take long! Imagine a person who is exactly the opposite of what you believe is right and good. You may condemn him, demonise him, even hate him, it doesn't matter at all for the exercise. And let's take the Corona measures as an example. If you think the measures are right, then imagine someone who is against them. Likewise, the other way round, if you are against these measures, then imagine someone who is in favour of them. If someone is against vaccination, imagine someone who is in favour of vaccination, and so on. These are two examples from current affairs, but it also works in other areas.  
The exercise is not about right or wrong, but only about putting yourself in the other person's shoes. All right, now imagine you would be the other person, you would have lived his or her life, having his or her genetics, his or her parents, the environment he or she grew up in, the joys and sorrows, losses and gains, simply everything that makes up that person. Then logically you would be like him or her, simply a human being, a child of his or her circumstances, just as you are now in your life. That is compassion. It means understanding the other person. It's not about justification, it's just about understanding that we are all human children who basically want the same thing. You don't need to give up your opinion or become an all-understander, it's just to create a healthy basis to talk to each other, person to person, and not vaccine supporter to vaccine opponent, contrarian thinker to normal thinker, capitalist to socialist, conspiracy theorist to main stream believer. It is extremely important that we start talking to each other again, because only then will we manage to emerge from this crisis stronger and with more humanity. 
And if we don't do that? The tendency is that we will continue to copy China. What that means for the future, we can already imagine in the darkest colours. The probability that we will then have a social credit system like China's is high. The G-regulations (in Germany the G's stand "Geimpft" (Vaccinate) "Genesen" (Recuperate) "Getestet" (Tested) and without the certification of these G's we are a "second class human) introduced in 2021 are the first steps in this direction.We cannot leave the coming important decisions to politicians or social media like Facebook, YouTube & Co, apart from the fact that they are overwhelmed with the situation. It is time for us as a people, for us as a society, to step up and speak. We have the right, the obligation, and the responsibility to finally take the next step in shaping a more humane society. If not us, then who? I would like to conclude with a phrase from John F. Kennedy that epitomises the point of putting aside our personal quarrels to stand up for the good of all, and not just for the good of our comrades-in-arms: "Don't ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Text first published in Rubikon in German

photo: v2osk

“We are all different. Don’t judge, understand instead.”

Roy T. Bennett