End of year

Godelieve van Heteren

In the last weeks of December, most Christians celebrate the birth of the child Jesus as ‘light coming into the world’. Around the same time, at solstice, Iranians and others celebrated Yalda, their feast of the birth of light. A few weeks back Indians celebrated Diwali, yet another feast of light. Muslims have their Eid-ul-Fitr as feast of light and rebirth after the fasting. Jewish people celebrate Hannukah…. Etc etc etc…

So, if most humans around the globe still celebrate light and crave peace, how come we throw ourselves everywhere again into such brutal forms of regression and darkness? And go around like unhinged wolves, killing senselessly, including many children…

Close to home and globally, we’re driven further and further into spirals of hatred (of speech, of acts, in crazy feuds) with nothing good coming of it. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Can we muster the willpower to pull ourselves out of this swamp? Can we still defeat this archaic pull of hatred and brutishness? Is a fundamental liberation still conceivable from our collective stupidity, our vanities and greed, which only lead to senseless wars and brutal destruction? Where are our own actions for dialogue? Why are our attempts at diplomacy and civil restraint so feeble? Where are our mobilizations against the causes of all the outbursts of violence?

For there is no positive rationale for the wars in Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan and many other places on earth. There is no positive rationale in consuming ourselves to death and seeing our planet die before our eyes. There is no positive rationale in keeping the social injustices around us unaddressed. And there is definitely no positive rationale in being mere bystanders, letting things degenerate under our eyes and remain idle.

“Ah… you’re privileged and you’re naive,” is what I often hear. “You’re not confronting the ‘tough realities’ of the world”. My answer is simple: yes, am privileged, for sure… but am far from naive. I just do not accept the current ‘frames’ of ‘realpolitik’ any more or all those phrases in the category of ‘girl, that’s just the way things are’. For they are deeply conservative and mainly uttered by those interested in preserving the status-quo for some. So short and simple: those unfair realities are not acceptable any more! We have to move beyond.

Brave creative reconfigurations are urgent. This is not a mere slogan. It is a final call to action. Finding fair and practical solutions for our times is hard work, especially in the ocean of confusion in which we find ourselves.

New light thus needs to be let in…
New light really needs to be born!
#light #peace #onelove.
Against all odds!

Godelieve van Heteren