Response

2009, Photography

I feel free to express myself and I enjoy the privileges and joy’s of the freedom and peace I live in.  Growing up in the Netherlands I learned my country as an open minded and liberal society. Article one in the Dutch constitution mentions:

Equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination

This article forbids any discrimination on any ground but allows affirmative action. The right is absolute and cannot be limited by law.

I am concerned though by the increasing tendencies to populism in Europe, and the Netherlands is unfortunately no exception in my opinion. That is also why I published the previous post. I am amazed and shocked when I am accused of being ignorant and not willing to open my eyes, because that is how I felt after this.  I don’t want to see the future of our children being destroyed like what happened to the futures of children during World War II, Rwanda, or in former Yugoslavia.

So I leave with this as my response and remembrance.

Remember the past

15 thoughts on “Response

  1. There is a lot of fear and distrust these days around the world. The problem to me is that people look at the group of people and forget about the people themselves. I see a lot of this in America, particularly in older generations. It is unfortunate.

    1. Unfortunately Andrew, history seems to repeat itself constantly. We never learn from our failures. Comes to mind that probably every word that ends with “ism” brought misery among us and our ancestors.

  2. Yes, sadly the world is changing to a darker place with all those aggressive populism and hatred towards muslims, arabs or anyone having a full beard. It’s completely crazy. We did only get a very thin layer of protection over the dark years of german national socialism and it’s disheartening to see how it is peeled off again 😦

    1. It is sad Georg, very sad. But we can change the path of fear and populism. Hatred and discrimination are no solutions, but only new problems. We can show the beauty and diversity of our world.

  3. Wouter, I feel you brother. Humanity is doomed. My grandpa used to say something that may be difficult to translate but , here goes: ” In crime itself lies the penitence….”

    Let true words spread loud and far…

    1. Hi Erik, Great to see you back brother. I think humanity is not so much doomed, but every time we enter difficult times we show our inability to share power and wealth among others. Or at least, that is what I think.

  4. I might be pessimistic, but I think we are entering an era of no tolerance, no solidarity and no respect for other people and other cultures.

    Well, at least nobody can say we didn’t see it coming.

    1. Well Robert, I am not so much pessimistic. I am usually a very positive minded person, but I am shocked though about the changes I see around us.

      Therefore I post about it. To find people with common ideals and hopes like me. If I can convince one person that discrimination is no solution, but just a problem. That to love, to care, to share, to be respectful are the ingredients for a warm, open-minded, diverse and social society, a wonderful future for our children.

  5. That is a fantastic shot Wouter. I have to say to you that I think these are great posts on subject matter and to be patient. Things might get worse before they get better, but you have to have faith that humanity, civility, and justice will prevail. It may take time and there might be bumpy times ahead, but every voice counts and as long as you and other keep pushing for what is right everything will work out correctly, this I believe. I take this idea because yes history has repeated itself I agree. But think back to one of the main reasons for histories failings. Specifically in Europe during the great wars. There was a lot of apathy and a shortage of meaningful dialog from the populations that were involved. There was some dialog between the politicians and princes but look where that got us 🙂 I hope I am making sense here – this is a lot heavier subject than I normally post on haha – so I need to go take a nap now haha – ok Wouter chin up and go take some photographs my friend 😉

    1. Thank you so much for your support John. But don’t worry. I might be shocked and amazed, but I am still a very positive guy. And reading all your comments makes me, and hopefully all of you too, realize that there is hope. Our legacy will be the hope or mess we leave behind for our children. And unfortunately there is no right or wrong.

      And today the chin was up, visiting a zoo with my family. Sleep well and take photographs too!

  6. Wouter you have great insight in addtion to your awesome and poignant photograghy. My husband John (above) and I love to discuss issues such as this. And that is important – maintaining a dialog through blogs or Facebook posts or face to face in a coffee shop. The internet has opened a new frontier, as trite as that sounds, and it has created new grassroot movements that can and will change history – as much as we possibly can. But it has also opened up new forums where opinions are evangelized and morphed into truth – for better or worse. Now we are becoming the media and unfortunately, that is causing the media to grasp for whatever hand hold it can reach in order to remain the great truth monster. There’s always two sides to a story however the media desperately opts for the most sensationalized side of it in its desperate bid to remain the authortative voice of reporting on the world. Look what is happening to the healthcare debate in the US. How did finding a way to provide healthcare for everyone change into a 7 headed Hydra hell bent on forming death committees to eradicate the elderly while usurping the freedom of all Americans? Society is driven to radical prosletyizing due to the same motivating factor that has contributed to the prosecution of any group or inidvidual – fear. And fear robs humanity of civility no matter how rational and intellectual they might be. And now we see illogical opinions creating irrational laws – scarves = Islam = radical extremists = violence and death so therefore restrict and outlaw any form of expression that might identify someone as a member. What is the motive behind that tax? I think you have it right, my friend, to spread fear.

    1. Hello Tammi,

      It is very special to me that you joined this discussion too and felt the urge to express your thoughts. He ones mailed me after I posted a photograph of my wife telling me that he recognized her feelings in her eyes, because they reminded them of you. I said him that those were the eyes of someone who actually didn´t wanted to be photographed at that time, and he acknowledged 😀

      When I posted this last night I had so many doubts. But when I came back today after a wonderful time with my family in a zoo, I knew I did well. Reading all your comments gives me hope.

      But why this post? I agree that fear robs humanity of civility. People become superstitious. I think fear is a mean, just like force, to gain, regain, or control power. With populism, like you have seen in the debates about the healthcare proposals in the US, it is used to gain larger support against the proposals. But in my opinion it always serves POWER. But I think fear is one of the worst kinds of means to gain power and control the masses. Fear is a slow process, that will slowly gain more support in the years to follow until most believe that the fear holds convincing truth. To become feared takes a long time. To cure it maybe even longer. To heal the damage it takes many generations to regain trust.

  7. Writing is not my thing , that´s why I take photos and try to express myself in that way , anyway I just wanted to say that I´m with you in every single thing you´ve stated here .

    If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.

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