Barry Gibb (Bee Gees) - TopPop 1973 3is a song by the Bee Gees. It could also be about our crazy world today.  But there are indeed different ways to stay alive. There are communities like Munich where I live. Which protect the lives and livelihoods of those who live within the community. There are places like the Philippines where I lived a long time ago. Which don’t protect lives, and livelihoods, of many of their own people.

There is not much caring in the Philippines outside of one’s own circles. The educated mourned an Ateneo professor killed by gunmen more than students in Dagupan who were casualties in the war in against drugs, possibly killed by vigilantes. There are anti-Marcos activists who make stones for martial law victims, but no stones for even the “collateral damage” of the present drug war.

Muslims prayed outside the Olympia mall in Munich last Wednesday, as many of the victims of the July 22 amok were Muslims. The Mayor of Munich was there. But many residents of Munich who were not Muslim or relatives lit candles and put flowers – a sea of them – near the site of the amok in front of the mall. There will be an ecumenical service tomorrow. And an official act including Merkel.

More people stay alive – and live lives worth living – if communities watch out for one another. Especially when it comes to the lowest rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (link) – livelihood and safety. That may not guarantee love and belonging, or even esteem. But it makes hatred and destruction much less likely. Even if stories like those of amok killer David S. can still happen.

Everybody’s thinking of stayin’ alive, the Bee Gees sang. Every community, worldwide, must look after its own people’s livelihoods and safety first. How can the Philippines get to that stage?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 30. July 2016