So here I am, facilitating the conflict resolution part of this two week Talk Together project of bringing together people from Western Sahara conflict zone, from the so-called forgotten conflict, hearing and taking in personal accounts and stories about lives spent in refugee camps in Tindouf, about regular beatings and abuse from authorities in the occupied territory, about the sad and painful lives of hundreds of thousands of people, generation after generation.
And it strucks me every day and every hour that people who share these stories do not use any of the dramatic or complaining language, even while telling us to what little amounts their food and water supply is being limited… They speak with pride, openness, incredible love and inner peace, not even hatred towards the people somewhere in some government palaces, playing their power games at their expense.
Yet, in our privileged Western world with warm houses, streets, water, money, shops, electricity, education, hospitals and all the abundance of luxury…, we tend to use the survivalistic language all the time: “Oh, my life is so hard, I don’t know where my head is, I am barely surviving, I am struggling along, only just managing somehow…” Standing in front of a packed wardrobe, crying: “I have nothing to wear!” Staring in the full refrigerator: “There’s nothing edible in there.” Complaining for not being provided the perfect service by the society, government, family or whoever else, all the time. Feeling that the whole world is against us and we, poor beings, just don’t know what to do.
Sometimes just being aware of our western jaded narcissistic culture makes me feel sick. It all seems to be so egoistic; it is all about our own happiness, it is all about our own fulfilment and if we are not in a constant state of material and physical bliss, we dramatize it so darn much, feeling what great heroes we must be to manage to survive. Doing our best to deny the world out there, pretending it is too far and out of the reach, pretending we have nothing to do with them.
Yeah, our lives are so dramatically tough, aren’t they?