King Willem Alexander and Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan visit to Godian Ejiogu in 2016
On 11th of October 2016 to be precise, I had a visitation of the King Willem Alexander of the Netherland. He came together with the then mayor Eberhard van der Laan, the mayor of Amsterdam. It was a memorable meeting that will lead to more meetings confirmed the mayor. Afterwards he kept his word. The King called it memorable meeting.
We sadly lost the mayor last year. May he rest in peace.
The king wanted to know how African root descendants in the Netherland are fairing and feeling at home. The mayor was highly interested in the wellbeing of this citizens in Amsterdam. The representatives of South American/ Suriname and Africans meet both the king and the mayor at my work in De Nieuwe Stad. De Nieuwe Stad meaning in English The New City is the name of the church.
What prompt me to share this is my new book. I wrote upon request (Mijn droom opzoek naar een rechtvaardige en vreedzame samenleven) of in English My dream in search of just and peacefull society in Netherland. I gave my insight of the Netherlands possibilities in creating a society of inclusion and togetherness. What I discover is that the human relationship is threatened. People who are supposed to live together are being teared apart by the history and present exposure of our realities. The mayor and the king were very conscious of this trend and the struggle of African roots descendants.
Group sitting closer and being together.
As everyone could expect, the king and the mayor meet unsatisfied but honorable adult citizens. The listening on both sides made the issues shared lighter. The issues like security, social and economic isolation are institution responsibility for her citizens. The solution can only come from the government. The government based on political parties are causing more division in the society and human relationship than uniting the citizens. The religions in the society are doing the same.
The central organ where togetherness can be united is lacking. The main clear voice and action in the Netherland standing for indivisible society are the king and the queen. The king pleaded for the care for the poor and wellbeing of all citizens. He pointed out to the political body while reading the annual budget 2017 that the economy is going well but some people are not experiencing it. He is very conscious of the suffering of different groups who are suffering marginalization. Both the king and the queen visit all the groups like, those living in poverty, those marginalized both by society and religions because of their sexual orientations and migrants living on the lowest level of the society.
We could talk hard issues and did not forget to laugh too.
What I discovered during his visit is that he is a great listener. Based on his response and suggestions he seems to understand what people are going through, how they feels and the pains they carry. He creates connection which makes him a compassionate listener. He could communicate back. That makes people feel heard and understood. That feels great. Such listening as he does and the way he socially expresses his opinions can de-escalate tensions.
Every generation have a challenge in creating accommodable society for living in peace. Every generation have people who got the natural talent to help in achieving these human basic needs. In this generation, the need is high when especially no institution is in position for this task. The religion cannot fulfill it anymore. The political parties with their cacophonous speeches cannot fulfill it. The parliamentary politics concentrate especially on economy (who gets what and how much) and less on social cohesion. So, this aspect of human needs does not even fall in established political party concept.
As the king and queen does not have this political responsibility, maybe because of the historical context. These basic needs for every human in the society can be officially fulfilled by them. They are doing it already. These needed social togetherness is at long run the responsibility of all citizens. We are responsible for the social life of our society.
King thanking the caterer