Sunday, October 12, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes II

Who will suffer in Iceland: The working class people are and will suffer. The elderly people, the disabled, the poor, the single parents, the children will pay for this incredible blunder. The rich will still remain rich, the politicians will still have a job.

Many working class people who have been saving a little bit every month have lost big chunks of their live savings. No one knows how much yet. We are still a nation living in suspense of what tomorrow might hold. We are a nation living in fear and the fear is so thick that I can almost taste it. It seeps through my sleep and there is basically nothing I can do or say to make it go away right now, because the wave is so colossal.

People are taking their own lives, people are basically in silent despair and in Iceland you don't show how you feel. In Iceland you bottle up your emotions and put on a brave face no matter if your heart is braking.

Icelanders are a strange bunch of people. Perhaps because we are so few, the elements of the hoard are more obvious here then in other places on this planet. I am puzzled that the people who got us in this mess are still plotting and ruling our country. There is absolutely NO tradition for people to step down from power if they made a mess. The worst thing is that people accept it.

We are a nation in fear - but this fear is not knew. It is integrated in the soul of the nation. I was hoping that this modern day catastrophe would have been the wake up call for my nation. However the only thing we seem to be learning from this fall is that we will just work even harder. People were already working so much here that almost all children were kept in daycare 9 hours a day from age 1 and a half. We have world record in the use of Ritalin for our kids, and despite the fear we claim we are the happiest nation in the world. We claim we are the least corrupt, we claim we read the most, we are the most optimistic. There is something totally surreal about living on this island. This is why I have always left but there is a strange pull that always lulls me back.

I always thought it was the Icelandic nature who pulled me back. In the last few years I have realized that Iceland is the perfect place to do social experiments. I have often become bitterly disappointed in my nation. However I have also realized that because there are so few people here it is so easy to get access to the people in power. Thus it is quite easy to apply changes by simply implanting ideas in the right places. So I have come to see myself as the person who plants seeds, I have no interest to play the political game, I have no interest in fame, I like the concept of planting seeds at full moon.

When they will sprout is impossible to say - all I can do is to carry on planting seeds.


Kopy Pig said...

It is good to be a planter of seeds in terms of ideas, and if you think you can make a difference doign this then you should most definitely pursue it.

In terms of your community, I believe that it is also very important to pursue it. However, it is a great mistake to believe that your nation is in any way different, it is much better to understand that the people in your nation are not different to people elsewhere in the world - it is just they have different things to respond to.

You will find that the 'we are different' concept is common in the world and very destructive as it shuts you off from automatically including ideas, help or concepts from elsewhere that may help if you only realised it and applied it to suit your circumstances.

'We are different' becomes synonymous with "Nothing can be done" in the minds of people, and, as you can see in your present situation, nothing gets done about the people who cause the problems. I live in a foriegn land and every day I have to live with "we are different" and as a consequence I see the same mistakes being made, and if I make a suggestion I just get stonewalled with "It's different here" even though I have seen an identical situation with the same kind of people elsewhere.

Good luck with your endeavor, and keep on writing!

Birgitta Jónsdóttir said...

You are really reading into this something i am not saying - i don´t think icelanders are any different from others - what makes it interesting to live here is the fact that there are so few people living here and thus it is a lot easier to see through the illusion - if you would see some of the work i have done in the past like the world healing book - you would understand that i have been working very hard to go beyond all sorts of borders in our world - we are all in this together:) i just find it easier to get my voice heard here... even if most of my work has always been towards the global community.