People have a built-in need for a sense of community. A feeling of not being alone – abandoned, or worse, betrayed. No baby is ever born with a craving for money, fame, or power over others; only with a longing for the soft, warm tender breast of a mother or the strong heartbeat of a father’s chest. A longing for belonging; completed in a trusting oneness with human flesh.
Thus, as we mature and extend our world, the only question that matters is who can I trust – who are my people? Is there anyone or anything that is real or genuine? With time, life becomes ever more fragile and unstable. When trouble comes will all run to protect themselves? We have bars galore, clubs of all kinds, different kinds of families, churches, professional and single interest groups, but can any of these sustain in dwindling resource? If the cause seems noble, a few might sacrifice to give place to their deeper feelings or emotions. Yet, in the modern world where loyalty has been undermined, the only thing people might bleed for is an inner circle of family under assault or danger from a concrete identifiable source –one who hates what you, and yours, love.
Apart from this extreme who do we follow? What deepens our trust and commitment? Historically we had symbols, creeds, ideas, music, dress, and strong leadership with a dream or vision in an atmosphere of guiding collective feelings through multiple risks. When done well, people, under pressure, grow close in their empathy: a feeling of unity, a closeness – even a bonding emerges.
Today in Germany, fulfilling this sense of community is unattainable. The critical elements, including joint action as Germans in real risk, is simply not possible. The reasons are simple: you don’t love yourselves as Germans; nor other Germans as themselves. Because of this you do not trust. Either in yourself or collectively. No degree of trust that you will “get it right”; however, a very real risk of being seen to “get it wrong” – as Germans – again.
So the craving for community remains powerful. The question of who do you trust unanswered. Who will lead who cares for your family first and foremost? Who can you open your heart to and know that they will stay? This is one of the great tragedies of modern day Germany. A gap that makes the nation perpetually off-balance. A gap that robs the world of what a healthy Germany could easily provide.
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