Sometimes, I lose hope in humanity. I watched a TED video last night explaining why currently developed new nuclear generators will save the environment – and more generally the planet – by providing safe and cheap energy to India and China (ok, the explanation is more complex than this, but still) without talking about the issue of overconsumption at all. The “free-world” (I hate this expression) is now shaking, looking at the stupidity of Trump, without even understanding how he got elected (yes, there are desperate people out there, and maybe it would be a good idea to start listening to them!). Myself, I ignored two men distributing pamphlets on the street today, without even returning a smile, as I was too busy holding a warm cup of coffee (I eventually got one and it was about a Muslim group militating for peace and freedom in Germany). As I was walking down the street, I saw so many men (only men today) sitting on the floor, holding placards, wearing light jackets (it’s 1°C in Berlin right now), while we were passing by, blinded by our own issues. When I entered a bank to withdraw money for this afternoon, a man opened the door for me with a large smile, selling newspapers for pocket money. I looked at my wallet and didn’t know if he would be upset at my pathetic 0,80€.
When I got home, I decided to look into what can be done to help those people in Berlin. My only problem is that I almost don’t speak German. Of course, people need warm clothes, warm meals, but they also need warm conversations. Giving out bread without a word is not the same thing as sitting with them with a hot tea. I really realized the importance of conversations in Fukushima, as I was conducting with people who are ignored by the government and invisible to the general public. Talking, exchanging, laughing, crying… This is also something vital that you should provide. So now, the question is: how can I help without speaking the local language?
I am looking into many websites talking about helping people around in Berlin. These days, there are many actions targeting Syrian refugees and I thought that my English language abilities might be of help. I still have to look into all of this, but I really want to do something, instead of simply thinking about the philosophical, social, economic, political and moral implications of migrations and war-time refugees dying in the Mediterranean See.