In the last weeks we traveled a lot. We had to go at short notice to America. I was not very enthusiastic about this. I don’t like the questions on entry to the US. This time I get them thing out oft he way. Immediately after the first question: „Why you are here?“, I have responded: „Sorry Sir I don’t know – please ask my wife“ The bewildered officials waved me trough the control and my poor wife had to answer a lot of bullshit. Sure, that could go wrong, but is not.
We were there for the sports. More specifically, because of the 261 Fearless movement. The last time I was 2007 in the US, at the time, the New York City Marathon was on the agenda. I Think I do not like a lot of thinks at the American and I have always avoided to visit the country. But when we were there, I have felt very well and met wonderful known and new people. I noticed the discrepancy between individual people and their nations. Spain, Italy Hungary, Kenya and now USA. What we see and hear from one country, what we learn from the media lets us be more critical and thoughtful.Then we meet the people in these countries and notice that they are personable, friendly, intelligent and courteous. So I feel with my prejudices caught and surprised.
I’ve been thinking about why it is so. My nature is, to understand our behavior. I guess this perceive depends with the short time of our visits. Would we stay for a longer period abroad then the discrepancies to our mentality would rather been seen. May be we would learn that the nice neighbor has three revolvers and two rifles. That has something to do with a profound different kind of mentality. There are self-evident truth, that appear to us all as a matter of course and vice versa. I know this because I grew up in another country. I remember, for me it was a matter of course, to defend my friend with fists. The German youth judges saw it quite differently. What ist right, what is morally correct, what is civilized, which ist better? Now, I think that’s very relative. Our problem is that we can muster tolerance for these differences very limited, especially if the people of these cultures are similar to us. With Kenyans, Koreans, Chinese, we can more easily distance ourselves emotionally. Their customs seem exotic and indeed unacceptable to us, but we can arrange it lighter because the strangeness of these cultures. With like-mindet people it’s different. We expect and demand equality at all levels. Should we not find that in this way, we devalue and condemn other people.
We are afraid, but from what? For strangers, foreign ideas, foreign cultures, foreign influences and otherness. We are not all equal, thanks God! and yet we want to make all equal. The different people, the not equal switchable, are excluded. This is the beginning of racism and now an easy game for some political direction in my country. The responsible citizens increasingly opt for them in our countries. I don’t know what I prefer, rifles and pistols or these responsible citizens. As such, everything is really very relative.
My consolation is the Universal Language. It makes us fearless against strangeness. I’m talking about sports, art, literature, music and other values. Connecting instead of separate. When we learn a new common language, we need to define our values again as we have to assign the respective terms with new contents. Together means to build relationships. This also applies with regard to the mental and physical area. Who promotes racism, promotes the total incest and is condemned to the abyss – that should make right panic these followers. Fearless encounter the strange, curious and openly accept the different – that is my way. We must not approve with all, but at least respect other perspectives. Don’t worry, strangeness is not a dangerous, contagious and destructive culture disease. It will take you away anything. On the contrary, it will be given you what, something you desperately need – horizon expansion and courage.
I will continue to be much on the way, confronting me brave the entry requirements and culture shock of the respective countries without grumbling. I’m going on behalf of fearlessness with the common language of sports. Maybe I can convince one or the other to be open to the threatening and run together – with communists, racists, gun owners, unqualified voters, etc., etc.. for a common bold future. I’m tired oft he anxiety and fear-mongering in our world. There are lovely people everywhere over the world, even if they look different and share different kind of views about many things.