I am human.

I am not black – I am a human (who happens to have dark skin).

I am not gay – I love another human (who happens to have the same sex as I do).

I am not “trans” – I am a human (who happens to make some changes).

I am not a woman – I am a human (who happens to have breasts).

I am not a Muslim – I am a human with beliefs (which happen to be different from those of others).

I am not disabled – I am a human (who happens to not being able to walk).

We are all humans – no matter what circumstances we happen to live in or which we’re born into. Our circumstances differ in countless ways. But don’t we all breath the same air, live on the same planet, need to eat and drink to live, digest, bleed if we’re hurt, feel pain, get sad and laugh? The one thing which definitely connects us all is being human. Hating and hurting another because of skin color, sexuality, gender, ethnical background, religious beliefs etc. is to hate humans! Hating humans means to hate yourself! Stop projecting your own hatred and fear on to others! Stop hurting others because you’ve got issues with yourself and your own circumstances, your own life. Not only is this intolerable – it is unacceptable!

So, start dealing with your own being human and be gentle to yourself and to others! And if this isn’t something you can fully comprehend, just think about the term “human rights” – these are rights any human being possesses just because of being human and not because of having a certain skin color or nationality or whatever crap we make up to distinguish between inferior and superior or any other similar bias to cover up our own insecurities. And for all avowed egoists: If you’re not willing to care about the human rights of others, think about that: Violating human rights means to violate your own rights in the same instant. So be careful how you treat these rights, because with every violation which remains unpunished, ignored or accepted these rights lose worth and strength, and humans lose humanity.

For the record, I am a heterosexual white girl living in a European country. I have no experiences of being a victim of racism, homophobia or religious prosecution, so I have no expertise on that matter whatsoever, but I feel that if I would remain silent or withdraw due to the feeling of not being worthy or qualified to share my thoughts I would miss the chance of contributing anything beneficent at all. If I can inspire only one person to reflect on what I just said to maybe act more consciously or even change his/her/its mind or only a single person to feel seen or heard, I think it’s save to say: “It was worth it!”

COVID-19, the moral thing to do.

I have some thoughts I want to share about the current situation regarding the corona virus outbreak happening all over the world. Not only here in Austria the government has initiated measures such as to prohibit leaving our homes – with certain exceptions and rules, i.e. buying groceries or going for a walk while maintaining a distance to others of at least 1m (if sufficient at all?). Therefore a lot of people stay at home, but there is also a significant number that do not.

It seems some people just do not see the importance of these measures. Maybe some of them are afraid of giving up their freedom – as for sure many are, whether they stay home or not. The fear of loosing our freedom surely is of meaning and absolutely understandable considering not only Austrias national-socialistic past. This is why I hypothesize that it is healthy not to feel comfortable with limiting our own freedom, because it shows awareness of yourself as an individual – among other things and mechanisms. I’m certainly not saying you should give up your fear, or rather your wish for freedom.

What I want is for you to consider that our own freedom ends where the freedom of another starts. And analogically, our obligations start where rights of others emerge and vice versa. People do have the (human) right to live as well as the (human) right of not being harmed (in German: Recht auf Unversehrtheit). Also, one of the basic principles of biomedical ethics is to do no harm. If you go outside to live on your social life and to act out your freedom you are interfering in these rights of other individuals. Especially of the ones who are older or have underlying health problems – such as people who have asthma or your grandparents, for example. By doing so you put their lives and welfare and those of the healthcare workers out there at risk. How can any healthcare worker help you or me or anybody if he or she is exhausted to an extent that he or she needs care or gets sick, mentally or physically?!

Frankly, you don’t have to be ok with the state enforced limitations, but please consider shifting your focus from defending your own freedom to protecting the safety of others for the time being, because it is our moral obligation to do so.