The day that a butterfly slapped my face
Have I learnt anything new during my volunteering about the world? No. Does this mean that it was a pointless experience? Absolutely not. Let me explain it to you through a metaphor that transform this double negative in a positive insight. The butterfly effect tells that the flutter of a butterfly in one side of the world becomes into a hurricane in the other side; but is the butterfly conscious of the hurricane?
Every day in the news we see the problems of the people around the world. We know about these issues but that does not mean necessarily that we are aware of it. I believe that except for some big (usually natural) catastrophes, which give us the chance of feel us good persons for a while, we don’t care about it. If you ask me for the reason, I cannot offer you a proper answer. Maybe is because the distance. Maybe is because our selfish awareness of individuals only let us see our own problems. This is legitimate. What can I do if I have mine own issues without resolve? With this dilemma in my mind I arrived in Greece, a country with more than 72.300 refugees and migrants according with the stats provided by UNHCR (2019), to develop my volunteering.
During my EVS I have the opportunity to work in some projects with different groups in age (children, teenagers and adults) and nationality (Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Italy, Turkey, Greek, Ukraine). I realized that under superficial differences we are all equal. Don’t misunderstanding me. I don´t say this as a humanist maxim. In fact I find this a little disappointing. Maybe because I always had the hope of being able to lose myself in an exotic place, totally different from my own country. However, the children continue to be happy without knowing why, the teenagers continue to believe that they know more than anybody and the elders continue to complain about the young people while talking with nostalgia about past times. Even if the importance lies in the little things my dream does not seem possible to fulfill anymore.
We can define the human being as an animal that, between all the chaos that surrounds him, try to implement some order in his life with the goal of avoid suffering and maximize the pleasure. In this attempt is not alone. Other people try to achieve the same through cooperating while the interests are commons (sleep, eat, drink, have sex, feel secure, have fun with friends, be appreciated and respect in his community/job, criticize neighbors and politicians, complain about the last football match …. basic stuff). So, now that we have found our lowest common multiple, is time to talk about the greatest common divisor. This basic principle of behavior, maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain, suppose that collaborates is usually more useful than split. However, you can achieve both if you find a properly enemy. Selfish, mistrust, greed, envy and stupidity are the most common causes for the big problems of the humanity. There is nothing new under the sun. But then another factor appears in the equation. A scary one. The fate, the chance or simply luck. First, we have the natural disasters and sickness against which sometimes the only possibility is to alleviate its effects after they occur. Second, and now comes the tricky one, is when you realize that the fortune or misfortune of be in the correct place in the correct moment is only a matter of pure chance. The chance of have born in a peaceful and prosperous country, the chance of have access to a free knowledge, the chance of not have been manipulated for hate of fear other people, the chance of not suffer persecution for reason of sex, race, religious beliefs or political ideas by demagogic individuals that only attend to their personal interests or even the chance of have people around who care about you. With the cultural differences diminished to the product of luck, the distances have been demolished and the vertigo of the jolt stuns you. A little slap on the back will help you to breathe again aware of the world around you outside your cocoon.
Now, that your metamorphosis has finish you can finally put the strength of a hurricane in each flutter.