I've met people who never had a chance to pursue what they really want. They know far more about life than I could ever hope and I'm gladful that they told me about their lives.
Most people on earth have to work tremendously hard to fulfil their basic needs, some people even have to risk their lives to save themselves. And most of those people who never experienced such a life full of constraints can only imagine how it could feel without any choices and maybe there is sometimes a lack of empathy thereof.
My grandfather was a young teenager when he had to start to work full time in a physically demanding job at his father's business carrying stones for 10 hours a day. After World War II no one asked him what he wants to do or what he's good at. You had to feed the family after you father died and there was no space to be a child or pursue your interests - my grandfather wanted to study medicine, but he never got the chance to be a student.
I've met many people who explained to me that they want to get an education, but have to pay the rent and can't afford to learn. They don't have any choices left.
After many conversations with refugees I learned about their fears, the bombs that killed their friends and loved ones and the risks on their journey to Europe. They told me about young children and old women who died through bullets and exhaustion. They told me about boats repaird with duck tape and drowning people.
I don't want to change anyone and even if, I can't.
I just want to speak to those who are offended or frightened by refugees and those who fear that they'll descent in a world manipulated and controlled by money and the resulting political force: Don't let the fear and hate control you, don't let demagoguery rule the debate. It is up to you to stop worrying about yourself and start to think about opportunities — for yourself and for those who never had a chance to do what they want. Mute the voice in your head that tells you that the only way to save yourself is hating foreigners and "defending" your country against refugees — it is the same voice that cries in the dark and is sad that you never got lucky in your life. But even if your life is beyond all bearing, the refugees are not responsible for this.
If you're looking for those who really destroy society and democracy for their own goals, search for corporations and governments which support arms export, corruption, reduction of inheritance tax and top tax rate, arming, undifferentiated and divisive media and discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, money or other prejudiced criteria without any conspiracy theories. Think about FIFA, banks and governments which were responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis and criminal deception, governments which control and manipulate the media and countries which allow to evade taxes for Amazon and others. And after all, think about what you can do and how your choices shaped the world.
There are many things in life we can't control. But you can control yourself.
Stop saying that the refugees are responsible for the bad things that happen in your life. If you want to get involved, inform yourself about the system we're living in and start to fight against the real threats — political ignorance isn't acceptable. Pretending to be a victim if you're making refugees the root cause of your suffering isn't going to work.
I'm aware of the fact that those people I'm writing for probably won't read this text anyway, because they limit themselves to specific channels to support their beliefs which I believe is a very dangerous trend in a egocentric society (called individualism which is another word to say that there is a deep sense of entitlement and selfish behaviour), but I hope that those who read this can relate to my opinion.
Germany is my home country, a country with too many xenophobia left, and I know what happened in Rostock in 1992, my home city. I hope that history don't repeat itself, but in regards to the trend in Europe to close the borders ("we didn't invite them") and fascistic movements like Pegida and many supporters of American presidential candidates like Trump I'm currently losing my optimism and finish this article with a recommendation of the cynical analysis "The Crowd" by Le Bon written in 1895 which is surprisingly and unfortunately current.