Dark Times Are Coming
You’ve been reading the news. You’ve been aware of what’s going on: war in the Middle East; tensions rising between superpowers; countries spending incredible amounts of money in military armaments.
Dark times are coming, and they’re gonna be real tough; for everybody. Yep; it’s bad.
But you shouldn’t worry, because good things always arise from hardship.
It’s always been this way. That’s the way we evolve as a species, that’s the way we evolve as people. We always learn the hard way, and we only seem to get it when it’s —almost— too late.
How do I know this? Take a step back and ponder upon your own life. Look at the tough times you’ve been through, and look at how good you were at picking yourself up afterwards. And how far you were able to go after you’ve fell that one time. Well, we, as a species, work exactly the same way collectively as we do independently. Because that’s the only way we know how to operate. And it’s fine.
I was born in France, I speak French perfectly, I am very well integrated to the French culture, but I have nothing to do with this country, originally. Like many others, my grandparents have been welcomed by this country; they have been given asylum in difficult times, fleeing from their war-torn countries.
Maybe it is because I myself am the offspring of immigrants from different horizons, that I deeply believe there is only one race, and that we’re all part of it, and that one day, everybody will come to the same realization, and we’ll finally be able to live together in peace.
Today, it is generally accepted that I am a Frenchman, deserving of the appellation, deserving of the passport, and deserving of all the government’s help I could get —if I needed any—.
Maybe it is because I’ve integrated well; okay, maybe I’ve integrated better than some of my peers. But what really matters is all the hard work my grandparents have been able to put in after setting foot in this new country; the families they have been able to raise, and the subsequent enjoyment of my war-free childhood environment.
Oh, how lucky I’ve been.
My father’s father was born in a country torn-apart by a totalitarian government, whose families were stripped from all their belongings in the blink of an eye, and forced into poverty for “the sake of their nationalism”. He was born in a comfortably wealthy family, with properties in the capitol city and in the countryside, but by the time he turned 18, there was nothing left. Not only had his country shrunk in half, displacing millions of people and putting them in desperate conditions, but what was left of it was facing constant oppression by extremism. He had to flee illegally, crossing many different countries’ borders using the rail system, thanks to local contacts and falsified documents, finally getting to Paris, France, and being welcomed as a political refugee.
My father’s mother was forced to attend school in underground facilities, changing from one location to another depending on where the city had been bombed the night before. Her country was fighting for its independence, having to rebel against seemingly endless enemy resources, with very limited manpower and military defenses. After living with friends and family abroad during her teenage years, escaping from one country on the brink of civil war to another, she finally found relief when she was greeted and accepted in Paris, France.
My mother’s father was born in a colonized country, in a very unstable climate where two countries were fighting for the claim, giving birth to a capitol city where 3 different cultures collided, each enclosed within their own “quarters”, with the occasional civil or military outbreak happening in broad daylight. He was finally relieved of a tension-filled childhood when independence was achieved by the country they’d be living in, when his family decided to move back to their country of origin, and him going on to study at a university in Paris, France.
Notice a pattern here?
Today it is 2015, and nobody in France would question my affiliation to my country of birth. I’m French, and everybody’s okay with that. Yet, two generations ago, my grandparents struggled to make this country their own, struggled to feel like they belonged here because of cultural differences, language barrier, and so on. Yet, they managed to create a new life full of opportunity for themselves. They worked hard, built a family, and eventually, 50 years later, here I was.
Would you have guessed the stories I’ve been sharing had set right here in our great Europe?
Would you have guessed my father’s father was born in communist totalitarian Hungary, my father’s mother in tiny Finland, fighting for its rights against goliath Russia, and my mother’s father an Italian immigrant to Tunisia, raised in the turmoil of Northern African wars of independence against France?
Can you see the resemblance between their stories, and what we are hearing today on the news, the colossal struggle Europe is facing in the wake of Middle Eastern conflicts, and deciding whether or not we should accommodate asylum-seekers?
Today you are worried about immigrants coming into your country. You shouldn’t. They will find jobs. They will work. They will integrate. They will thank you for your hospitality, and they will be forever thankful that you have saved them from an undeniably gruesome future.
Nobody questions my legitimacy in France today. People did two generations ago when my grandparents came to this country. Maybe you question their legitimacy today, but history shows that nobody will in a few decades. Borders evolve, civilizations travel, migrations happen. All life on Earth has been subject to these rules ever since the beginning of dawn.
Save us the time, spare us the hate, and accept the inevitable. Embrace the fact that your country is growing, evolving, and welcome your new neighbors and help them build a new life for themselves.
Your children and grandchildren will end up being friends with their children and grandchildren anyway.
So why wait so long, and not make new friends today?
Love one another.
Terrible things are happening from where they’re fleeing. Offer them your smiling face, offer them your kind words, and offer them your support, as much as you can. Everyone will benefit from it. Everyone. And that includes you.
Let’s not have ourselves held back by fear of the unknown, let’s embrace the possibilities the world has to offer, and concentrate on love. Only good things can happen if our end goal is always love.
Whatever your religion, whatever the color of your skin, whatever your beliefs, there is one immutable truth: we, as a species, are currently evolving towards our higher-consciousness, environmentally-friendly, all-loving selves.
Unfortunately, before we can all understand and embrace the full power of love and spirituality we have at our disposal, we are going to have to release our old-fashioned faith in hate and war. Think of it as quickly ripping off a Band-Aid.
It will all be over soon. And it’s gonna be for the better.
Start practicing. Start loving.