Probably all of you have heard by now about last night’s horrible events that took place in Munich, the stunning place I call home.
Living in a country where mass shootings – whether they’re religiously motivated or a disturbed individual’s doing – is just not common, this left me raw and scared. You’d think that after having lived in New York City for two and a half years, I’d be used to things like that happening. But I am not. While the shock and helplessness and anger are there, Boston and Sandy Hook and Aurora feel far away in a country as big as the USA. 4 kms away from where you live in a city of merely 1.4 million inhabitants feels different.
I’m aware of my privilege to live in a country where violence is not the norm. I’m blessed because our police forces ask first and then shoot. If they shoot at all. (And if they do, there’ll always be some random weirdo politician who’ll question the use of firearm to prevent more victims.) I’m lucky to live in a country where as I notice more police forces in the streets (I have recently), it makes me feel saver, not threatened.
(That said, I think the Munich police forces did an amazing job last night, spreading the right amount of information and working with people to make them feel saver.)
The morning after, I’m still shocked and scared. Several dead, more injured. As I write this, the news is that it was a single perpetrator who apparently killed himself. It’s still unclear whether his acts were religiously motivated or not. 10 dead. Mostly teens and young adults.
This morning, the world keeps turning. Am I scared? Of course I am. I’m still scared of the danger that something like this happens again. I’m scared of how it’ll affect the political climate in Germany, which is already seeing too much right-wing power for my liking. I’m scared we’re turning into a country where we hate and spread fear instead of embracing love and diversity.
But we can’t start living in fear of the constant threat. We can’t stop living carefree lives because we’re scared to go out and have fun. Because that’s what terrorism wants. It’s all about the mind game.
In Munich we have a motto. Mia san mia. Bavarian for We are We. It’s hard to describe what it stands for. But let me try. Mia san mia stands for our pride. Our love for Bavaria. Our mountains and cities and lakes. Our traditions that coexist with modernism. Our carefree lifestyle. Life goes on. We go on. Because we are strong. Munich strong. Because Mia san Mia.
This morning’s breakfast. Munich style with coffee and brezn.