Cambodia and My Bad Excuses
Reading about the coming national elections in Cambodia, and the crackdown on the media and the opposition; I was thinking about the last election in 2013. At the time I was in Cambodia. Still, I regret that I did not do anything to show my support for those who stood up against Prime Minister Hun Sen and his party, who has been ruling Cambodia for more than thirty years. And Cambodia is ranked as number 161 out of 180 in terms of corruption.
There is no guarantee that the opposition party would have fared any better regarding human rights or corruption. But the protests were just as much about people’s right to protest.
But I did nothing, and that was the case, as far as I know, with most expatriates. I was thinking: ”I am only a guest here”, “they can send me out”, “my support would not make a difference anyway”, among the bad excuses I came up with.
I was just sitting indoors during Sunday demonstrations, sniffing the tear gas; or listening to the organized street rallies by the ruling party. Rallies with, probably, paid “supporters” on scooters and open trucks. [Read more…]
Inequality is high on the international agenda. For instance, at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos.
Much attention is given to inequality between countries, “the north and the south”, or within countries such as the U.S. or Britain. What seems to be more neglected is the immense inequality within lesser developed countries.
South-Africa is topping the list; and countries such as Belize and Zambia among the top ten.
One reason why this immense inequality persists, is because the poor and the rich never meet. If they do, then most often in a power-relation, as employer and employee.
International aid programmes in non-western countries mostly focus on the poor, not how to engage the wealthy. [Read more…]
Trust is essential in order to reduce poverty and violence.
That is Celina de Sola’s message in the video below.
I believe that the absence of trust and cooperation is the main reason behind the deficiencies in international aid.
No one can achieve great results on their own.
El Salvador is a country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Poverty and inequality is rife. Different gangs hold power in many communities. You often have a choice between joining a gang, being killed or making an arduous escape to the U.S.A. [Read more…]
During the autumn and winter of 2015 to 2016 I worked as a volunteer on the Greek island of Lesvos, in the midst of the refugee crisis. The TV pictures showed only the most dramatic and tragic events. I experienced several of those too, but my most vivid memories from Lesvos are the positive ones.
This article is a reminder of the fact that most humans are basically good. I do believe there is hope for us.
Some of my best memories from Lesvos:
A strong contrast to the bleak TV pictures: newly arrived refugees playing volleyball on the beach, setting up a makeshift net, killing time while waiting for transport to the other side of the island. [Read more…]
What should your country ideally look like in 10, 30 or 50 years time?
Following the news or listening to conversations , it is very seldom you come across anything about how people vision the future of their country. And that is the case in any of the countries I have visited or lived in. People may have some visions related to specific issues, such as a fossil free society, or less poverty. However very few, if any, say anything about what an equal and just society would actually look like. Painting vivid pictures, that makes others think : “I want to go there!”
We Need Visions
Visions give people hope and purpose, and can give rise to mass movements. Therein lied the greatness of leaders such as Gandhi and Mandela. They articulated dreams of a better and brighter future. Dreams that so many shared; and subsequently became an irresistible force the old regimes could not resist. [Read more…]
The issue of woman’s emancipation is actually about man’s emancipation.
In this video, Jan Eliasson ( the previous Deputy-Secretary General of the United Nations), talks about how Olof Palme, a former Swedish prime minister, explained this to him:
In a nearly fifty year old paper ,“The Emancipation of Man”, Olof Palme, elaborates the matter and highlights the disadvantages of men’s traditional roles. In many parts of the world this paper is still highly topical. In other countries, Palme’s ideas would be regarded as ridiculous. I, as a woman, could even be arrested for posting this blog. [Read more…]
You might think the headline sounds unfair. It is not the people of South Sudan or Afghanistan’s fault that their countries are in such a mess, with millions of people suffering and thousands being killed. They do not deserve that. You are of course right. However, if you look at it from a society level, and not an individual level there is a cause and effect. Hence, the word “country” in the headline, instead of “we”.
However, there are two aspects of human behaviour that has an immediate effect on the kind of leaders a country end up with.
Narcissists create tremendous damage, frustration and suffering. They are everything but mature. And they believe they are so grandiose that they are entitled to hurt and damage other people. Narcissists are not always easy to detect, but it is important that you do, to know what you stand up against.
What has worked for me is to show that I do not agree with them.
I am not a psychologist, and I will not dwell on the differences between a narcissist and a psychopath. When you hear the words “narcissist or “psychopath” you probably think on a “it-is-all-about-me” person. And that is what I mean about a narcissist in this article. A person who probably has what is called a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The most ridiculous example I have experienced was a Head of a department, where I once worked, who summoned all his staff to an urgent meeting, telling them, while he was sobbing, that his wife had left him, and what a terrible time he was going through. And this was a government agency, not a local corner shop. No wonder the wife left him. [Read more…]