Just start writing this post took me three hours, and two hours and a half to write it. On that time, usually, I could write four or five posts with scathing criticism against the prime minister or the new Spanish parties. But this one is not one of those posts. Before I start writing, long before, I decided not to use the picture which has provoked me to write this words, because I don’t want to feel again the pain which it caused to me the first time I saw it. I am aware that I will not forget that picture; as many others who yesterday raised our voices just for condemn the simple fact of having Aylan in our screens; in all of our screens.
Last Thursday I published a post, like this one, which I didn’t enjoyed writing. My best friend told me on the next day that reading it had made him feel devastated; and that I have to understand why he hates national politics and affairs like defence: because many times they are very hard.
They are, indeed.
I didn’t cried last Thursday while reading how seventy people suffocated in a refrigerated truck in Austria. I can’t remember the last time I’ve cried with a notice or with a newscast; I don’t know if I’ve ever did . I can remember the airplanes on 9/11, the bodies at Madrid railways, the devastation before Sri Lanka Tsunami or the burned corps of the Christians killed at Nigeria, but I can’t remember my feelings on those moments. Yesterday a tear fell from my eye when I saw the picture which four of each five newspapers in Europe had chosen for their today’s front pages.
I have replied to my friend that sometimes there are successes, not only failures. And that when those successes are really important, are bigger successes than building a municipal garden or a bike lane. Today I have thought that I’m not sure about that answer anymore, because I don’t know how could be faced a picture like this one, by someone in office in a European chancellery or a Ministry of Defence.
If there are children who could be my little brother dying at the Mediterranean sea; if there are men and women who put their sons and daughters in plastic boats because the sea is safest than the land; if there are people stacking in trains in order to run away from war and terror; if all of those things are happening now, it’s because of decisions. Conscious or unconscious, tacit or explicit, visible or imperceptible, but decisions anyway.
«The decisions are made by those who show up», President Bartlet was told by a wise man. If we take that, then there are people responsible for the hundreds thousands tears which crossed our cheeks yesterday.
Politics are not just an electoral campaign each four years. Politics are not just convincing the people for voting you because you are better than others. Politics do not consist in gain power and maintain it as the only target.
Better said, politics are all of those things, but with a sense. With a goal, with concrete values and personal principles. Making politics is making decisions, like open a new bike lane or close a frontier. There is a universe between both things. But in democracy we choose the one who has to decide about the bike lane and the one who has to deal with the frontier crisis.
Decisions are made by those who show up, not by others. So if we are not able to send to run the right persons, we cannot pretend that the ones who actually show up made the right decisions. Sometimes this mistake just costs us millions of jobs and tens of hundreds euros. But sometimes it costs human lives.
Until when are we going to maintain this generation of leaders who has condemned us to a winter of anxiety and fear? Until when are we going to being indifferent to decisions which, because of the simple fact that they doesn’t affect our daily routine, we don’t care about? Until when are we going to stay without understand that if we don’t elect the right persons, the best ones, we cannot expect and end to all of this?
The decisions are made by those who show up, and yesterday Aylan died because someone who showed up is making the wrong decisions. Maybe that is the first thing we can do in order to stop so many avoidable tragedies. We could ask ourselves why we didn’t do it before; and ask forgiveness to Aylan, and to the other fourteen hundred children who have died in a war in front of the edge of the Europe that we have built.
Thanks for staying there.