This weekend the conference with probably the highest porcentage of smiles and fairphones per person took place in two wonderful locations: the Heimathafen Neukölln and the offices of startups and social businesses startnext.de in the Ritterstraße in Berlin. Both the theatre and the officeblock shared their space for free fitting perfectly into the concept of this very special event. There were only two prices you could pay: one was 490€, the other one was karma, but not for free. The idea was that the inspiration should be available to as many people as possible. And damn was it inspirational! There were entrepreneurs talking about their supermarket without plastic or their cola that can make business without contracts, because it is based on pure win-win. In general, the concentration of trust, hope and solidarity on this weekend was so intense, you could nearly smell it. And as a female speeker very wisely said: „Solidarity is putting the entire pressure on a certain area so the other can move freely. In our body, that´s called walking.“ So it was only logical that some minutes later two unconditional basic incomes for one entire year were given randomly to two lucky people. But the luck was not only with them. The free flow of ideas and motivation made everybody prouder, stronger and happier. The viewers were not only enjoying the talks, they were soaking up the karma, ready to carry it out to the world.
Today, in the real world, nobody seams to have the time to dream. But in this short weekend I noticed that it is not only possible to build the world we want to live in, it is time. So… are you with us?
P.S.: All the speaches will be online sooner or later. If you want to check the official website.
Four years ago a small me with long curly hair walked into the „Spreeblick“ office to do a small internship. I was curious what this blogging was about. And i was taught. About twitter, wordpress and the wisdom of the crowd. I was instantly fascinated by the effects of these tools on our lives as demonstrated in the arab spring which was slowly rising in these days. I also learned a lot about the importance of looking at an event from different angles. Back then the image of the arab protesters was purely positive, at least in western mainstream media. Like everybody, I hoped for a change for the better in the region. But I also feared and warned that supporting the rebels would strengthen the radical islamist forces. I turned out to be wrong. The lack of help for the liberal parts of the movement resulted in the revolution failing in many countries, especially in Syria, where jihadist control large territories.
It is our duty to learn from the mistakes of the past. In order to bring democracy to others first we must understand it ourselves. We shall remember that democracy is not a gift. It has to be defended and refreshed day after day. This eternal refreshment is what keeps a democracy alive.
Now a time has come where we again face the question if to support or laissez-faire. In Europe and around the world extreme islamist groups are gaining power. In order to stop any movement that is growing on the soil of hate and totalitarian thoughts we have to strengthen solidarity and friendship with the liberal muslims and arab atheists in Germany and around the world. It is our human duty to not only be Charlie, but also every muslim victim of terrorism. And it is our duty to always seek the second side to the story.
With this juvenile curiosity, who know where we will be four years from now…
P.S.: Thank you for going through all these times with me. I hope you had just as much fun as I had.
To think about thinking is probably what makes humans human.
The possibility of reflecting on our own thoughts is what makes us unique on this planet earth and as far as we know in our universe. We, as humans, are able to understand the origin and the value of our beliefs. But this is not the only gift that divides us from the animals. Empathy, in this extent, is not given to any other being. Of course dolphins, elephants and apes are able to relate emotionally to another individual. Ants and bees even are able to give their tribe a higher value than their own life. Non the less even this absolute commitment is restricted to the own family, clan or tribe. But I am assured that every reader of this blog would do everything possible to save a life, no matter if its of a bee or of a dolphin, a gay or a black person. The human empathy does not respect borders, religion or ethnicity.
So why are there so many conflicts between nations and creeds? The answer is simple. When we stop thinking about our neighbors as part of mankind we lose the only things that make us human: Our ability for reflection and absolute empathy. We stop asking ourselves if we are actually right in valuing another and start denying our human bonds. The differences we have found seem to be fundamental and incompatible. There appears to be no manner of coexistence.
This can happen fast. Anyway you always have a backdoor: Think about our thoughts. Are the categories you are thinking in really our own? Is there a clear good and evil in this situation? If I did the things to them that I am currently thinking about, am I any better? Am I still human?
We now live in a world where we all face the same problems. Neither terrorism, nor climate change distinguish between black or white; muslim, buddhist or atheist; european or african. We have come to the point where we share one big planet, where we have become one humanity. It is time for us to think and act like one by being nothing more and nothing less than human.
Photo credit: <a href=“http://www.flickr.com/photos/68824346@N02/“>NASA Earth Observatory</a> / <a href=“http://foter.com/“>Foter</a> / <a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/public_domain“>Public domain</a>