Home does not stop at national borders

We were lucky here in Germany. Most of us — depending on the generation — saw the light of day in peacetime. In times of prosperity, that much of the world’s population will never experience. For most people on this planet is this, what we in this country view as being almost natural, a fairytale — probably just as much as the idea of Aladdin’s genie that grants all our wishes is for us. True, we also have desires, often for ever more prosperity, for luxury goods, more money and a lot of things that many people in not-too-distant countries do not even know they exist.

We claim this wealth, in which we live, for us. However, the fact that we can enjoy it is simply due to chance. We could have just as easily be born into this world at any other place, could have just as easily grown up in poverty. This fact makes us all citizens of the world, inhabitants of the earth who have a responsibility that can‘t be striped of by a socially defined nationality.

What kind of arrogance gives us the right to say that we are German and this country with all its benefits solely belongs to us here? Just because our society decided that someday; because political systems have evolved? Hardly likely.

If we only look a stone’s throw back in the history of our planet, many of us were refugees themselves. 60 million people lost their homes before, after and during World War II in Europe, were in search of help, support and accommodation. Just because we are doing well now, we can’t pretend that the suffering of the world is not our business.

Whoever flees from a sincere emergency situation out of his home country, has earned respect and support from each of us. We cannot look away and pretend that politics and the state would take care of it, as if this would not personally affect us.

If we want to call ourselves civilized, if we want to enjoy the high development of our society, we also have the damn duty, the responsibility that results from this. For many years, a non-contemptible part of the prosperity of the Western world has been due to the fact that we exploit poor countries that we extract their raw materials that their citizens work for slave wages under the worst conditions for us.

This whole thing is a two way street. There is only one world’s population, only one humanity. If we want to be progressive, we must stop thinking in classes. We need to help suffering people — no matter where they come from.