Back in Norway

25 Jul

I came back home to Norway last Sunday. No need to repeat recent events, known to all. Since no one can turn back the clock, one question really worth asking is where now?

A bomber/shooter could have done the same thing in the old GDR, now matter how many informants the Stasi had in its ranks. Government encroachments on privacy and individual liberties won’t eliminate such risks. Rather, they just compound the losses.

Happily recent declarations don’t make it sound like Norway is headed in a surveillance state direction.

So maybe the government is handling things well. But how should one deal with this on a personal level? My take is purely statistical. I know I run far greater risks crossing the street than I do of being shot or blown up. In spite of his delusions of grandeur, Anders Breivik, who wanted to turn up today for his arraignment “in uniform”, remains utterly insignificant.

I don’t want for an instant to minimize the pain and suffering he inflicted on his victims, their families and their friends.  But when a jangle of nerves bites, I remind myself that the only power he has is what we give him.

So, my advice to Norway is to look both ways when crossing the street and forget the delirious Nazi Breivik in his barred home. We who by birth or by choice call this country home are infinitely bigger than him or the sad happenings of last Friday.

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