Escaping to Europe and that point beyond fear

The delusion of ‘never’

It is the nature of us men, to have at least one thing in life, that we quietly swear to themselves we would never do. Never.

Under no circumstances.

It could be something that scares the daylights out of us. Like pulling the trigger and taking someone’s life. 

I can never harm anyone!

I can never be that brutal!

I can never…

These ‘nevers’ form a part of who we are.

Our life has a thick red line announcing haughtily what we think we can never do.  What we often don’t realize is that these ‘nevers’ are based on some level of normalcy.Never killing someone is a noble and decent thing to aspire to.

But what if someone is pointing a gun at your child and the only chance to save them is to shoot that person first?

Would we really hesitate?

Would we really let the ‘nevers’ stop us?


I have never been much of a swimmer.Despite my best efforts, my movements in water remain at best tentative and at worst awkward. On more than one occasion,I have panicked in water and almost drowned. 

The idea of refugees most of who can barely swim, crossing the Mediterranean into Europe,fills me with dread of untold magnitude.

I have often asked myself what I would do in the circumstances.

Would I really board a shady rickety boat across the Mediterranean like the thousands who do so every day?

Would I attempt to swim the 40 km across the English Channel into England? 

The truth is that I don’t know. 

Until you have watched your  home blown into soft ashes, you might never know.

Until you have lost half of your family and have no idea where the other half is,you might never know.

Until you have experienced the debilitating despair that comes from hopelessness, you might never know. 

For most of the refugees around the world, ‘Never’ is a luxury so unaffordable, it is laughable.

                   Anders Fjellberg's Ted Talk 

In this engrossing TED talk, Anders Fjellberg tells a story about two wetsuits washed ashore in Norway and the Netherlands. He attempts to see beyond the statistics and recognize that behind these numbers are people; sons, daughters, fathers and mothers.


The quest for survival, that point beyond fear, it turns out, is a natural instinct that we all possess.

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