We are as ugly as the environment in which we live. And it will be so, with a tendency to get worse, until we understand that at the center of that environment is ourselves, each one of us without exception.
Environment is everything around us. The circle in which we live, what surrounds us… the polluted rivers, nylons and plastic bottles scattered in every corner of nature that we, humans, touch… the urban chaos… All of this is a mirror of ourselves. We are as ugly as the environment in which we live. And it will be so, with a tendency to get worse, until we understand that at the center of that environment is ourselves, each one of us without exception.
Our biggest problem is the persistent refusal to see ourselves in the room of mirrors, in which everywhere we turn we see an ugly image that is a reflection of ourselves. In a desperate attempt not to accept this obvious reality, we are constantly looking for enemies or anyone to blame. It’s nice to sit over coffees and complain about corruption, until the next day, before the new coffee, when we shake the family tree to find someone close to this or that person, who would help us to get to a doctor, to get an ID card, to get a building permit. As a journalist, I often meet acquaintances who complain about corruption or other problems with the administration or political power. But, when I ask someone to speak publicly about it, so that it can be published and thus compromise the generator of corruption, I am rejected with the excuse that ‘you know, now is not the time… maybe later’, only to later understand that the same person who complains is trying to corrupt someone else in order to finish the job, without understanding that exactly that part of circulation of malignant cells goes through the most vital pores of the social fabric.
Waiting for some party/authority as a ‘deux ex Machina’ that will magically solve all our problems takes on the proportions of the theater of the absurd and its most recognizable reading ‘Waiting for Godot’. Refusing to accept our image in the mirror, we project the needs of our being as it is, which materialize in the offer that we receive in the series of election cycles that never change anything.
Change is possible only when we accept the reality for ourselves and when, with this knowledge, we open the debate about what we do for ourselves, for our future, for our children and for everything we often talk about in an utterly pathetic context. These days, I was given hope by an episode at the Air Navigation Agency, in which one or more of the ruling parties, tried to cancel the competition organized by a Danish consulting firm that, doing its job at the competition, chose the best among the competitors. Dissatisfied with the result, the ‘pets’ of the political parties complained that they were rejected, so their political mentors, in order to demonstrate who is ‘chief in the village’, decided to cancel the competition and repeat it in order for their ‘pets’ to get what belongs to them according to their merits in the party. Faced with the ugly political aggression against the profession, a group of air traffic controllers threatened to resign from their jobs if the competition was canceled at the request of the political parties. Their resolute and principled attitude gained popularity, after which the politicians retreated. With a little courage, integrity and responsibility, things change quickly and the environment becomes different. These human qualities are within ourselves. If we recognize them, the image in the mirror will become prettier.
Borjan Jovanovski, a renowned journalist with several decades of work experience in the media