Brethren or Brotherly Love.

Brethren or Brotherly Love

Photo: aboutpixel
Author: Garry Green
Keyword: brethren

Sitting at the gate in the departure lounge of an airport recently, I took a look at the expressions on my co-travellers' faces. Admittedly it was 7:00 am local, 4 am in Germany. The sun was shining through clear blue skies but the impression that the mostly German passengers made, told a different tale.

Possibly tired, having to leave so early? Probably. Maybe a few didn't get the seats they wanted for this long flight? Possibly. Or perhaps they didn't want to leave this little paradise? Could be.

But I've seen these expressions in colder climes, at other hours in Heathrow, JFK or Helsinki too. So what if the lack of euphoria goes deeper? What if the desire to stay is, in fact, a desire not to return home? What if Germans don't particularly like Germany? What if, dare I say it, Germans don't like other Germans, their brethren?

The most striking impression a foreigner receives upon arriving in Germany is the lack of smiling faces and a certain indifference on the streets. Why might that be?

As someone who has lived in Germany for three decades, and call's this home, I question whether an underlying distrust or scepticism of others may create this impression. Or is it just a case of waiting until someone takes responsibility? Or both?

Those that watched the Soccer World Cup here felt a very, very different Germany. Those that watched from afar were shown images of a super friendly, welcoming country and it's people. Individually more reserved, a society-wide spirit of togetherness with mass outburst of emotion seems to arise by decree; the Carnival period in this region secures a similar atmosphere.

But Germans are currently not too happy. An extended period of denial to the facts in German government has thrown state finances into turmoil. And persistent citizens' refusal to question how the country can afford its social state has kept Keynesian policies alive.

Following the more recent shock of reality however, many now face further years of diminishing standards of living and lowered self-esteem. In spite of the current minor turn-around in the economy, the German way has proven to be flawed. And the quest to dish out blame for the misery being incurred is now as strong as any emotion surrounding more positive matters.

Soul searching continues as ever in this command civilisation. Let's not forget though, the wonderfully peaceful society we all enjoy here is partly thanks to an extremely low level of anarchistic tendencies.

So the wait for somebody such as Klinsmann or Beckenbauer to do something to spark a general loosening up continues. Any offers?  Just imagine; countrywide contentment with true German efficiency may result.

Color it Exciting