Ciao Tomas, come stai? I hope all is fine as my favorite season autumn comes in. I've been meaning to write to you for a long time now. The trip was fine. As I managed to do everything I wished to do and came back in one piece. With so many stories and thoughts in the backpack of my mind and scribbled in papers.
You know I like your, how should I say... loyalty or commitment perhaps. That's a very rare trait to come by in our age. Like you said, getting a personal and human reaction on Twitter. It's so sad to have lost this, and so nice to find it in few people like you. Perhaps it's because you have a cause too, you understand. By the way, how is problemondo progressing?
“rather than an anarchic self-proclaimed revolutionary, flagellant and critic of other people's faults...”
When I read this I found myself smiling and saying “But I am exactly that my dear!” :) I know I am flagellant and I cannot help but criticize. Of course that doesn't contradict with my being “a messenger and facilitator of positive change and openness” as you put it. These are not exclusive.
As for your 4 levels of questions:
1- Yes, as you said, there is injustice at birth and few people doubt that, true. As for the many people passionate to do something about it... I'm not so sure. There are some but many people do not really care about it as it doesn't touch their end.
2- Opening borders will not only reduce injustice at birth, it will END the injustice! I guess perhaps that's where our misunderstanding lies. When I say injustice at birth, I'm talking about the injustice of the access to the world a baby has. Otherwise, we may have different opportunities according to the place and to the parents we are born, but I do not consider those an injustice: that's just life.
I guess when you say you disagree that opening borders will not reduce injustice, you are talking about reducing misery.
Well... I thought I was clear on that too. I am not sure that opening borders will make a much better world. And I have repeated this several times, I'm not trying to convince anyone. This is not something to convince, it's rather a belief. It is anybody's guess what might happen with open borders. Your and other people's fearful scenario is only a speculation. Whatever our fears might be, even if the fears have reasonable grounds, the injustice at birth is too big a global injustice to accept. To me, it's unacceptable at any cost. But of course I'm not saying we do that at any cost, all I'm saying is we ACCEPT the fact that blocking certain parts of the world to some people because of the place they're born is an unacceptable global apartheid; we start talking about how to open borders as smoothly as possible instead of discussing if it should be done. We start off with the fact that IT SHOULD BE DONE.
3- Once again... I never claimed that travelling all countries and burning my passports would help with anything. We may discuss it, no problem; it's just that we cannot get anywhere. This is just one side believes something, the other believes otherwise. Nobody changes beliefs so simply. I do not wish to convince anybody. I tell them what I believe, they process it and decide for themselves.
As to why my “mission” cannot be questioned...
I guess you wouldn't know Yunus Emre, he is a famous Turkish poet. He has a line: “There is an I within me, deeper than myself.” I have that “I” as well. This burning passports comes from that I, the one deeper than myself. That's why it is not open for questioning from outside. It's something I am compelled to obey.
On the other hand, I might just as well be burning my passports in our fireplace with Carlo. I had lots of time to think on the many 6, 8, 15 hour bus rides I took. This is something I want to do for myself. It is my way of defiance. I just leave it there. Somewhere in history. Perhaps one day one person looking back might say “Ah, there was this woman at that time, she did such a thing.” And how it will be judged, only the future is to tell.
Yes, family-wise it is hard. I am so lucky that I have a wonderful supporting husband. I wouldn't have been able to do this if not for him. You know, there are many journalists who go away to report on wars or dangerous places. I started reading a book about Africa and this guy was thanking his wife for letting him go and then welcoming him back home. It's generally the women who do this, but it's the reverse for us. I mean of course I'm not stealing that much time away from home, trying my best to keep up the family and my duties to both my husband and our daughter. My conscience is less burdened because I've been at home and have been with my daughter almost 24/24 for 5.5 years, and now it's time to let go a bit. Healthier for both of us. And it's fine that my husband gets to spend some time with the child he had at 50. Still, I won't be getting this time back with my daughter and any day spent away from my two most precious in the world is time stolen. Of course I miss her terribly. And I seriously doubt that I would have done this if it wasn't for internet and WhatsApp.
4- “I believe that people are unresponsive, because you make them visualize 2&3 instead of #1. I may be wrong, that's just my feeling.”
:) Well, I believe you are wrong. Of course I may be wrong too but this is not just my feeling but close observation. I believe people are unresponsive because it's irrelevant in their lives; that's why I get so little return. They could not care less. They only parrot what's in the media. They keep on chewing the same gum. They're only concerned with their own well-being and immediate surroundings. They just simply say, “Yes, it's unjust, I agree. No, I don't want Syrians or Pakistanis here.”
Plus, we are in many ways really dumbed down by this social media. They just put likes on personal photos, share stupid puke-inducing provocative articles written for clicks and the masses, or cute cat photos and videos... Even the way they respond is ridiculuous. You tell people you have a FB page and they can follow you, they don't. You ask them through the FB command “put a like” on your page, they do it. Vola! You've got hundreds of followers. They are just like sheep who have no comprehension of words but follow certain sounds.
People who lack any thought or knowledge, who are incapable of any logic have thousands, even tens of thousands of followers. People who cannot be a patch on me are all over the news. Look at the things that get so many likes... the photos... I do not wish to be a part of this crowd. I mean I wouldn't have bothered in the first place if it wasn't for my husband.
Anyway... This is not working out. Only 124 followers on Twitter, less than that on FB. Great! And who cares if the numbers were any higher, as long as nobody really cares. I haven't succeeded to get on the media, not even the Turkish one. I am fed up with scratching the walls trying to make my voice heard. Besides, I realized that I can do this on my own. It may take time and a considerable amount out of our family budget, but I can do it. I'll be writing to some institutions who support the idea, I'll probably set up a fund-raising like you suggested (this is like the FB command, people who do not respond to your words may respond to a familiar way of donation. We live in the “click world” after all!), and then I'll just look ahead on my own agenda. I've got a million things to do, there are much better ways to spend my time on instead of trying to get support. If support is meant to come, it will come by itself one day.
To me, the crux of your suggestion was this:
“I would be more interested to read less about your mission (sorry, a strange, although fully understandable mix of misanthropy and messianism), but more about what the people you meet in the world think about 1,2,3 and what they are able to do so that others are less afraid of them.”
I thought “Yeah, that's it! I should be asking about this to people and reporting.” But my excitement soon died out. When I realized how little people care or how the things I am saying is so incomprehensible to them. Questioning the status quo doesn't really occur to anyone. They get this blank expression on their face or they gibber something out, trying to explain you why things are the way they are. I can see they are trying to take in and process what I have said. But it doesn't really register. Others have to repeat it to them, and after hearing the same repetition several times, they'd be getting it.
Following the media, people get the idea that there is this big exodus... Even though there of course is a migration, when you look at the percentages of those who are staying versus those who are leaving/moving, the ones staying outnumber and the ones moving is really a minority.
So when I talk or rather try to talk to an ordinary person in strange places of the world (like Lesotho, Swaziland etc.) about free movement, they're puzzled why it's an issue. Yeah, some would like to come to Italy or Europe. But you can be sure they'll be feeling like a fish out of water and will want to come back after a couple of days. We are habitual creatures, much more than we are adventurous and open to new experiences, we don't like getting much out of our comfort zones.
People working in countries like Qatar, which run on and already get much foreign labor, yeah, those are the people who seek out better chances, better lives for themselves. Sure, they'd like open borders so they have more opportunities instead of slaving with what they are offered.
:) It's funny, that you say you wish to read less of my mission; most people tell me they wish to read more of my mission, but of course they mean about my trips. They want to see photos, videos, they're curious about what I do, how I do. So I guess it's best to write about what I wish. But I am bored with writing this stuff, I agree. It's reached a saturation point anyway. I'll be writing down some pieces that I have in my mind, then I'll hopefully start putting all in separate books. So everybody can read the part they're interested in.
By the way, what's the misanthropy and messianism thing? It would be nice if you explained it because I didn't get it ;)
I thought you were a philanthropist and if you see it as I'm trying to save the world, you misunderstand me. As I said, this is something I do for myself, but of course with an expectation that it might be a trigger for a positive change somehow. And that's why my call to so many people, trying to get them involved, this has to become a movement to make a change. But whatever it is, I'm investing in myself. Every country, every experience, every interaction with somebody from a totally different place of the Earth is an asset for me. I may not change the world, I'm fine with how this “mission” is changing me, evolving me. I had written the same thing once before, on my second round-the-world tour: This is getting me closer to the person I wish to become. And that's the important thing.