We are not going to lie, the world is not wonderful. It has amazing places and nice people, but not everything looks like the rainbow. There are places where kids run after you for hundreds of meters to get an empty bottle of water. There are places where people fill the streets waiting for a job that will never come. There are places where shit up piles in every corner and nobody moves a finger to clean it. During this trip around the world, we have visited places that we never imagined, but we also had to escape from places that we would have never wanted to visit.
However, even if we don’t like them, they are part of the world. A world where grey, dry, tough, and wild are abundant, but not the most. In these places, life is difficult and its inhabitants must struggle everyday to find water and get food. The rest of the world, however, is a green planet, full of fields and forests, with enough resources for everybody, and contrary to what we’ve been told, with more opportunities than ever, because development has multiplied productivity. If this world were well-managed, it would be paradise. The problem is people, bad people, people with black hearts. Those who take advantage of others, demoralize, and destroy in order to be able to go up a little bit more every time. We knew them before we left, but we keep seeing them in this journey. The truth is that the less developed the country is, the more you see these snakes.
Just like in Africa. The ethnic corruption has been the never ending problem in the black continent, but these last few days we have heard of so many genocides, mass murders, and exterminations that trying to call all this an economic crime would be a euphemism of bad taste. Darfur, Sierra Leona, Zimbabwe, Kenya, or Nigeria. Black or white, they are all animals. Some of them with mobile phones, and even with suits and ties, but in the end they are all animals. Around the middle of last century, when most of the independence processes started, Africa was a conglomeration of thousands of tribal societies whose conduct codes were designed to preserve the group and the individuals that are part of it, not to maintain the equality among human beings and respecting each other. That’s why when the members of those groups got access to power, they didn’t have any moral dilemma using all those resources to benefit themselves and their people, at any cost; even if that cost meant other people’s lives.
People are individuals and as such, we are selfish. Nature made us like that to help us survive. Fortunately, Nature also gave us intelligence that helped us develop ethics which should substitute such instinct. However, by definition ethics belong to society not to the individuals, so it doesn’t get to everybody whereas the instinct, the genetic selfishness, does. Thereby only when social ethics are spread enough that are able to overcome the individual instincts, we can talk about a civilized world. In those cases, when we have corruption among individuals, the presence of accepted and shared ethical behaviors by the majority, the social pressure and the fear of punishment, helps society to keep some of them under control. People that in under developed societies would be savages, in ours they are morally tied up.
Although not all of them and not always. When the social pressure goes down, even a little bit, those demons come out to demolish as much as they can. Therefore, in order to get rid of them, the collective pressure should go up even more and be based not only in the public accusation, but also in the individual one. In other words, we all should feel responsible for those behaviors that don’t comply with the agreed rules, pointing at them when that happens, giving them the silent treatment, and taking our respect away from them.
Who hasn’t thought that the behaviour of a neighbour, a co-worker or even the boss himself was not appropriate? In spite of that, because of fear, embarrassment or simply laziness they are rarely told on their faces, but we do it behind their backs. However, it would be a mistake to believe that those who commit little moral misdemeanors in our society, due to their lack of principles, wouldn’t be monsters in other places or other times. Or are we so naïve to believe that in Africa all these crimes happen because they are worse than us? Does anybody still believe that Yugoslavia was an exception in Europe and that it will never happen again? Blaming some and cheer on others because they live in different places would be unfair. However, if we accuse all of them publicly, here and there, those black hearted characters that are ruining our planet would end up melting with their shame and will have to hide their sins under the shade of their bad conscience: the best jail for those who should have never been born.
So it’s up to us to have a better world, nobody else.