Happy Birthday

Article published on May 9, 2008
community published
Article published on May 9, 2008
May 9th, 2008, Five years ago, I was lying in a hospital’s bed, proudly looking at my new born child. I remember forgetting all about the every day life and focus all my thoughts on the question “what will I teach you, how will you see this complex world we live in?”. This is a luxury, I believe. “It’s easy to be strong when we actually have a choice”, I told to some friends the other day.
It’s easy for me to be a strong free woman, who forgets the every day life and chooses to take a part on the “complex world” we live in. Well, not easy (being a woman is still not easy in many aspects, even in our great free Europe).

58 years ago, ROBERT SCHUMAN was sitting at some office, proudly looking at his new born project – a new, united and democratic Europe. I’m sure none of his thoughts were related to the every day life – again, a luxury of the ones who have a choice.

Today? On May 9th, 2008, I sit and think how many world issues depend directly of some very simple things – like rice, GAS, the way we treat the person sitting next to us on the bus. News come and go and some images stay on my mind, like the one of a girl being violently spanked on a Barcelona’s subway – our beautiful, free, civilized Barcelona.

While I bake the birthday cake for my own child, I think about all this. Democracy needs to be defended with the same fanaticism and competence used by Islamic, Christian or Nazi extreme groups. With the same dedication and persistence. The same exact notion of results and consequences. The same knowledge of the vital importance of the individual role we all play.

I cannot accept Democracy to be used by west middle class citizens to go to Cairo visit the pyramids and ignore the hungry populations. I cannot accept Freedom to become the right of doing nothing at all. I cannot accept bad practices to compromise human values. And I will not accept the ones who defend those values to become “out of the system” individuals.

On this perfect sunny and happy day of my life, I look at my son and think that, in this very complex world, “simple” is not an option. Resting is not an option. Ignorance is not an option. Why? Because, if we insist on it, our kids will be raised with no choice at all, in a Europe where the very simple things (like the flour I use to bake) are in jeopardy. Would my child beat a girl in the subway in his anger?