Tag: love

We will speak up!

Do you feel better now, having spent the better part of half an hour trying to convince me of your hateful racist opinions being true? Would you feel better if you succeeded?

And why the need? Why does it matter to you how I feel? It doesn’t change you when I say I believe every person is the same, that I don’t look to color or religion when I judge. 

You get so busy; googling statistics, raising your voice, cheeks red with excitement, not the good kind, though. They are less intelligent, you state. You read that article once. Because they haven’t been educated for generations, these people. But of course, you’re not a racist. It’s just a question about what culture you’re raised in. This makes it okay, you obviously think. 

These statistics, the articles, you’re exchanging religion with culture makes it okay for you to think less of other people, to judge them, to view yourself as superior. This matters to you, obviously, the feeling superior. It matters a lot.

Your words and arguments start feeling physical, suffocating me with their hatred. The room feels smaller and smaller. I feel like screaming.
In this moment, you’re everything that’s wrong with this world.

The right wing hate, the bigotry and the wars. The self-righteous self-serving bullshit …

And you call me blind to the facts. You call us blind to the facts. 

Us. The ones who want peace, the ones who don’t judge people by the color of their skin, the aim of their prayers or the land they came from. I’m blind, you scream, waving around your statistics.

I have long since shut up. You won’t let me talk in anyway, and if you did, you wouldn’t listen. You will never be able to hear me.

You scream so loud trying to convince me with your hate, I believe you’re trying to drown out how much your voice resonates with the memories of Holocaust. How it all began once before … 
I will speak up, but not to you. I will speak up to the world. To us. Those like me. I know you’re out there. We will speak up.

The hate will never win. 

Cheetos and lost souls/Osterejer og fortabte sjæle

(scroll ned for den danske version)

This is my favorite picture of Leonard Cohen.


I don’t know where I got, when or how. I don’t remember that anymore. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to have it or put it on here. If no, please tell me, and I’ll delete it.

It’s on my screensaver, and ever so often, it pops up on my screen among old family pictures, cute animals, clever quotes and pictures of books (yeah, yeah) and it never fails to make me smile. He’s buying  cheetos! Come on! He’s The Most Amazing Singer and Poet, he is perfection, and he is buying cheetos … If you don’t see it now, you never will.

What’s so special about it, besides it being a picture of the legendary Leonard Cohen buying cheetos? Well, off the top of my head: because it’s a picture of him being anyone and everyone. Do you know what I mean?

It reminds me that at the end of the day, after the show, when the movie is over, we’re the same. We clock out from the office, we switch off the mic, we take off the costume – and we head home. We turn off the lights, and in that dark room, all alone, there is no difference between us: we are all souls. Alone with our thoughts, nothing is hidden anymore.

These days it can be hard to remember that we’re all the same – and that we are all humans with souls. No difference between us – none better than the other.

The breaking news flashing red on my phone screen ever so often makes it even harder to remember. Waking up yesterday morning with a screen full of screaming death and terror – followed up by angst, by fear, by threats, hate and lynch mobs, by that little girl’s face, forever frozen in time for her parents to remember like that and never any older, please All That’s Good, let them remember her like that and not in the last moments – all of them, little kids, teenagers, parents waiting. Just people, just people like you and me, anyone and everyone, people who like cheetos, people going home to switch off the lights and be no different, falling asleep, dreaming.

The randomness. The insanity behind it. And please, for the sake of there ever being a chance of peace on this blue planet – please all of you STOP BLAMING RELIGION. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. Please, once and for all, get this into your heads! No religion on this planet condones killing! NONE! These insane souls, lost in hate, know nothing about religion, and Islam would never ever condone them. So please stop now before the people behind these attacks win.

Because this is what they want. They want the fear, the hate, the war between religions. Nothing will help them to power as much as this.

If we are to snub them out and win this we have to stand by each other across countries, cultures and religions. Shoulder by shoulder, soul by soul, hand in hand against evil.

I saw this happening in Manchester, in London, in Stockholm, in Berlin … In the midst of chaos, in the dark of terror, it happened – tick, tick – word for word – thought for thought: I am here. I can help. Take my hand. Twitter. Facebook – all those yelled-at platforms, accused of separating people and  making them cold and non-caring – it all happened here: Come to my place. I have coffee. I have food. I have a phone. I have a heart.

This is it! This is what holds up against terror. This is it exactly. It is right there: The selflessness, the empathy, the love that strings us together as human beings.

The lost souls out there, right now they make us feel helpless, targeted, unsafe. The attacks are random and apparently, they have no limits. Even kids …

And we cry because what else can we do. The horror is too great to bear, it breaks something inside of you and it feels as if it will never be light again, it will never be okay.

And I cry for all that is lost, for the dead and the hurt, for the mothers screaming out their grief. I cry for the people who had to see such a thing, those scarred for life, inside and out, the scared, the hurt, the grievers. And I cry for the people who just want to live their lives in peace, in happiness, who know nothing about this war and who want nothing to do with this. And I cry because I am so helpless in this. Because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what can be done.

And I turn again to the messages of love and hope, the outstretched hands, those who stand up against the hate, the fear. Those who speak up and say: This is not us. This is not what we believe. And I see them lighting the stars one by one in the darkness. I see it happening and I count them, one for one, I count them and I pick up the pieces of my broken heart from the floor, telling myself that if these people can do it, so can I.

And I write this, and my screensaver pops up, and once again, Leonard is buying cheetos. We are all anyone and everyone. Even the greatest legends buy cheetos sometimes, even the evillest people have a soul. And it says it all.

Against this darkness; it is but a lost soul, an anyone and everyone who got lost out there, and we take each others hands, and we speak it, we tweet it, we post it, we stand together, we stand close to those who lost, those who grieve, and we know it, we believe it, we speak it even as we cry, knowing we must hold on, we must hold fast, we speak it:



Osterejer og fortabte sjæle

Dette er mit yndlingsbillede af Leonard Cohen

Jeg ved ikke, hvor jeg fik det fra, hvornår eller hvordan. Jeg kan ikke huske det mere. Jeg ved ikke engang, om jeg har lov til at have det eller putte det på her. Hvis ikke, så sig til, så sletter jeg det.

Det er på min pauseskærm, og engang imellem kommer det op på min skærm mellem gamle familiebilleder, nuttede dyr, kloge citater og billeder af bøger (ja, ja), og det får mig altid til at smile. Han køber osterejer! Hold nu op! Han er Den Mest Fantastiske Sanger og Digter, han er perfektion, og han køber osterejer … Hvis du ikke ser det nu, så ser du det aldrig.

Hvad er det, der er så specielt ved det, udover at det er et billede af den legendariske Leonard Cohen, der køber osterejer? Tja, det første, der falder mig ind, er, at det er fordi, det er et billede af ham som alle og enhver. Ved du, hvad jeg mener?

Det minder mig om, at når aftenen falder på, efter showet, når filmen er slut, så er vi ens. Vi stempler ud fra kontoret, vi slukker mikrofonen, vi tager kostumet af – og vi går hjemad. Vi slukker lyset, og i det mørke rum, helt alene, er der ingen forskel på os: vi er alle sjæle. Alene med vores tanker, intet er skjult mere.

I disse dage kan det være svært at huske, at vi alle er ens – og at vi alle er mennesker med sjæle. Ingen forskel på os – ingen bedre end den anden.

Breaking news, der blinker rødt på min telefonskærm nu og da, gør det endnu sværere at huske. At vågne i går morges med en skærm fuld af skrigende død og terror – efterfulgt af angst, af frygt, af trusler, had og lynchstemning, af den lille piges ansigt, for evigt frosset i tid så hendes forældre kan huske hende sådan og aldrig ældre, åh, Alt Der er Godt, lad dem huske hende sådan og ikke i de sidste øjeblikke – dem alle, små børn, teenagers, forældre der ventede. Bare mennesker, bare mennesker som dig og mig, alle og enhver, mennesker, der kan lide osterejer, mennesker på vej hjem for at slukke lyset og ikke være anderledes, falde i søvn, drømme.

Vilkårligheden. Vanviddet bag det. Og vær nu søde, hvis der nogen sinde skal være den mindste chance for fred på denne blå planet – vær nu søde alle sammen og STOP MED AT SKYDE SKYLDEN PÅ RELIGION. Dette har INTET MED RELIGION AT GØRE. Vær nu søde at få det ind i jeres hoveder! Ingen religion på denne planet støtter drab. INGEN! Disse vanvittige sjæle, fortabt i had, ved intet om religion, and Islam ville aldrig støtte den. Så vær nu søde at stoppe før folkene bag disse angreb vinder.

For dette er, hvad de ønsker. De ønsker angsten, hadet, krigen mellem religioner. Intet vil hjælpe dem til magten som dette.

Hvis vi skal udrydde dem og vinde dette må vi stå sammen på tværs af lande, kulturer og religioner. Skulder ved skulder, sjæl ved sjæl, hånd i hånd mod ondskab.

Jeg så dette ske i Manchester, i London, i Stockholm, i Berlin … Midt i kaos, midt i terrorens mørke, skete det – tik, tik – ord for ord – tanke for tanke: Jeg er her. Jeg kan hjælpe. Tag min hånd. Twitter. Facebook – alle disse udskældte platforme, beskyldte for at separere mennesker og gøre dem kolde og ligeglade – det hele skete her: Kom over til mig. Jeg har kaffe. Jeg har mad. Jeg har en telefon. Jeg har et hjerte.

Det er det her! Det er det her, der holder stand mod terror. Det er præcist dette. Det er lige her: Det uselviske, empatien, kærligheden, der binder os sammen som mennesker.

De fortabte sjæle derude, de får os lige nu til at føle os hjælpeløse, udsatte, usikre. Angrebene er vilkårlige og åbenbart har de ingen grænser. Endda børn …

Og vi græder, for hvad andet kan vi gøre. Rædslen er for stor at bære, den ødelægger noget indeni dig, og det føles som om, det aldrig bliver lyst igen, det bliver aldrig okay.

Og jeg græder for alt det, der er tabt, for de døde og de sårede, for mødrene der skriger deres sorg ud. Jeg græder for dem, der måtte se sådan noget, dem, der er mærket for livet, indeni og udenpå, de bange, de sårede, de sørgende. Og jeg græder for dem, som bare ønsker at leve deres liv i fred, i glæde, som intet ved om denne krig og som ikke vil have noget med den at gøre. Og jeg græder, fordi jeg er hjælpeløs i dette. Fordi jeg ikke ved, hvad jeg skal gøre. Jeg ved ikke, hvad der kan gøres.

Og igen vender jeg mig mod beskederne om kærlighed og håb, de udstrakte hænder, de, som holder stand mod hadet, frygten. Dem, som taler og siger: Dette er ikke os. Dette er ikke, hvad vi tror på. Og jeg ser dem tænde stjernerne en efter en i mørket. Jeg ser det ske, og jeg tæller dem, en efter en, jeg tæller dem, og jeg samler stykkerne af mit knuste hjerte op fra gulvet, mens jeg fortæller mig selv, at hvis disse mennesker kan gøre det, så kan jeg også.

Og jeg skriver dette, og min pauseskærm kommer på, og igen køber Leonard Cohen osterejer. Vi er alle alle og enhver. Selv de største legender køber osterejer engang imellem, selv de ondeste mennesker har en sjæl. Og det siger alt.

Mod dette mørke; det er blot en fortabt sjæl, en alle og enhver, som blev væk derude, og vi tager hinandens hænder, og vi siger det, vi tweeter det, vi poster det, vi står sammen, vi står tæt omkring dem, som mistede, dem, som sørger, og vi ved det, vi tror på det, vi siger det selvom vi græder, velvidende at vi må holde ved, vi må holde fast, vi siger det:







I’m gonna change the world today

Today I want to write about our world. I want to write about how we could all be happy here. I want to write something that will change how we live, something that can make people stop, think and change.

I want to write something so powerful it will make a dent in conventional thinking, something that will change a million people, or maybe just one. Just one would be good.

My brilliant friend across the water, Richard Bach, wrote this once: Happiness is the reward we get for living to the highest right we know. I bet that sentence changed a million people or more.

I don’t know what to write to change just one.

I know he is right, though. When we live to the highest right we know, we become happy. When we are happy, we change the world for the better. I know that when you live in happiness, it affects the world around you, happiness is contagious. You attract happy when you are happy, and you give off happiness to those who come near you. What can I write to make just one person happy?

I could write about the beauty of our world, the happiness found in life itself, in family, friends, in children. I could write about the intoxicating joy you feel when holding the hand of your child, the thrill of love you feel when looking into the eyes of your loved one, that joyful laughter you experience when in the company of your good friends. Is that enough to change the world?

Imagine every person going home today, deciding this is enough. Imagine everyone deciding that life really is that simple.

Imagine it is that simple. Then know it is that simple.

Follow your heart, they say. Try it just for a few days and see what happens.

I want to change the world today. I will start with a smile.






A mother’s child

I wonder what your mother saw, cradling you in her arms in the middle of the night, your face softly lit up by the light of the moon coming through the window, the entire house asleep but you two. Rocking you quietly, singing, maybe a song her mother once sang to her. Looking into your eyes then, loving your tiny face, your tiny hands, too tired maybe from having a new baby to imagine how your life would be, but surely knowing deep in her heart that you’d make the world a little better, a little warmer, the same way you’d just now magically made her heart explode with love like she’d never felt before, made her cry tears of pure emotion simply because that feeling of love couldn’t be expressed in any other way, no words, no signs to explain how enormous this love, and there you are in her arms looking straight back at her, so tiny, so helpless. Yet you changed the entire world. Did she have any idea that night, back then, gazing at this tiny bundle of innocence, that one day you would do such a thing?

Did you have brothers and sisters? Did you love them? Oh, how they loved you. When you played in those lazy afternoons, summers outside basking in the sun, chasing each other, the smell of warm grass, the coolness of hiding places and the giggles so hard to repress when they got so close, so close, to finding you where you hid. The sheer excitement of hearing them calling your name to come play. The sticky, warm feeling in your palm, the security, the blind trust, when holding hands and walking together. The loyalty, helping each other, the rush of adrenalin, that surge of love bursting your heart, running to come to their aid, were they falling, were they being chased by the bigger kids, did they get stuck, but you came, you always came to help them, your heart racing as fast as your legs, knowing no love bigger than this.

And mother’s soothing touch, resting on your head, your shoulder, cradling your hand, the sound of her voice calming you, calling you in, calling for dinner, or waking you in the morning. The safest place in this world, mother’s eyes, mother’s hand. Did she know then? Did your brothers and sisters know, somehow, somewhere, a tiny speck of ice in their hearts when they saw you, a moment frozen in time, wondering, did they have any idea? Did they ever think you’d grow up to this?

Did you have a father somewhere? Was he ever there, a mountain of strength, a booming voice, giant hands coming down from above to secure your first steps in this world. Did he tell you about the wonders in this world, why the sky is blue, how they get the bricks to hold on to each other when building high, so high. Did he teach you about being a man, that strange world of loyalty and courage, of responsibilities and brotherhood. Did he make you feel loved? Did you silently tell yourself you wanted to grow up and be just like him, a hero in your eyes.

And what about friends? Did you have any? Did you know that special feeling of true friendship, the willingness to do anything, whatever it takes, to help each other? Did you ever lie awake in the night, planning an event to surprise your friend, imagining their face lighting up in pure joy, the excitement you’d feel, that bubbly feeling in your stomach seeing someone you love be overtaken with happiness.

Did you ever feel happiness?

And did you fall in love, finally grown up, entering that roaring world of the adults, the craziness, the responsibilities, and the work. Did you see that special someone, suddenly across from you, and did you feel your world tilt beneath you, pulling you down and into the whirlpool of love. How everything else suddenly didn’t matter, how only this one person could ever make you happy. Did you ever feel this?

Did you ever feel anything?

And where are they now? Your mother, your father, your brothers and sisters, your friends, your loved one … Did they ever know you’d come to this? And do they think today, if only we’d known, we could have done something, we could have changed something, if only we had known we could have stopped him. Is your mother crying today? Did you realize at any point you’d be breaking her heart? No matter her side in this, she lost you today. You’re gone. Only your deed is left behind.

Does she wonder, your mother, does she think: if I’d known this, I would have killed him that night. I would have closed those tiny eyes and never let him take another breath in this world. I wouldn’t have let him live, my baby, my love, if I had known he would do this. Did I know? Was there something in his eyes, those innocent eyes, something foretelling this would happen?


Something changed you along the way. Something must have broken your beautiful heart, made it grow so sad, so full of hatred. Did you know that hatred is nothing but unrequited love? Someone didn’t love you enough, or maybe you didn’t love yourself. Someone made you believe that love isn’t enough in this world, someone made you believe that hatred is true. Those forked tongues telling you that everything you once believed is a lie, telling you the hatred is true, making you believe those days of laughter and sunshine were false. What did they do to you to change you, to blind you to the beauty of our world, to make you believe you could make this world better by way of hate?

I wonder about your mother today. Is she here? Did she see you do this? Did she see you, eyes full of hatred, a heart so cold, and did she remember cradling you, her tiny baby, and did she wonder, her heart in a thousand pieces, how it ever came to this? Is she crying now, your mother, as everything is lost?

I know she is watching this, a blurry screen of tears, the TV repeating those videos from the scene. I know she is counting every bullet hole in that wind screen, wondering how many pierced your body, which one finally killed you. Your brothers and sisters, holding each other, crying, silently or sobbing with grief. Why? How? I never knew he could do this. I never imagined he could do this. How could he do this? Your friends, frozen in their step, staring at that screen revealing what happened. Remembering days of play, days of long conversations, rewinding memories to see if they can come to a point where maybe they knew, where maybe you revealed you could someday come to this. And they wonder, did we know? Could we have done something differently? And they think of your mother, your brothers and sisters, your father. Maybe they go over there, wringing their hands, shy eyes to the grief of the family, so overwhelming.

And you’re dead now. The forked tongues are rejoicing and the mothers are crying. So many lives lost to the false hatred of one man.

In those last moments, were there even one speck of regret or doubt? Did you know in your final second in this world that you were doing wrong? Did you think, in that last moment, the bullets piercing you, your heart slowing to a stop, did you think of the way your mother used to hold your hand, caress your cheek, did you remember the light in her eyes when she looked at you, all that love, that endless love of a mother. Did you miss her just then? Did you wish she was there to hold you, to soothe you, to tell you it’s alright, it’ll be alright, I’m here, I’m always here. Did you stop your hatred for a second, long enough, to wonder about all the mothers of the people in front of your truck? Did you realize, maybe in the last second, what you were doing, how you were killing mothers and children, fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones. Did you realize, even for a second, that there is no way hatred can ever create a better world for anyone, not you, not the forked tongues, not anyone.

And in that split-second of realizing this, did you wish you’d gone home that day, chosen another path. Did you wish you’d gone home to your mother, told her about the forked tongues, told her you’d met them, but never wanted to go there again. Did you wish you’d joined your brother instead, spent an hour or two talking, laughing, did you wish you’d gone to see your friends, mystified by the forked tongues, but knowing it would end in tears, turned your back on them, found a way, a different path, choosing love over hatred, choosing a quiet life of doing what you could to make the world better. Did you wish, your last breath leaving your body, that you’d chosen love instead?

Skam over Danmark/ Shame on Denmark

Jeg bor i et land, som i disse dage er skældt ud verden over. Store, internationale medier skriver artikler, laver satire og sætter Danmark på forsiden, fordi dette lille lands regering har vedtaget love, der lugter langt væk af tidligere tiders nazisme og fremmedhad. Facebook, Instagram og andre sociale medier slynger om sig med hashtags som #shameondenmark og #ikkeimitnavn. Jeg indrømmer, at det gør min egen Facebookside også. Men så aktiv, som jeg nu er, i debatten om flygtninge og det stigende fremmedhad, så stoppede jeg, da jeg stødte på #shameondenmark.

Jeg indrømmer, at jeg før har skrevet ordene: Jeg skammer mig … og det er pinligt … Men faktisk, indser jeg nu, har alt dette ikke noget med mig at gøre. Jeg er dansk, jeg er født i Danmark, mine danske aner går hundredvis af år tilbage. Danmark er mit land, min arv og mit blod, men det her, denne udvikling, har intet med mig at gøre. Jeg har ikke stemt disse mennesker ind i regeringen, jeg har ikke støttet disse lovforslag, og jeg har på intet tidspunkt været med til at skabe denne udvikling i mit land. Og dette er mit land! Så nej, det er ikke Danmark, der skal skamme sig. Danmark er et skønt land, og det er fyldt med mennesker, der både kan og vil hjælpe mennesker i nød. Det er fyldt med glade, kærlige, sjove mennesker, som favner resten af verden, som ser fremad og som kæmper deres egen daglige kamp for at ændre udviklingen mod kulde og had.

Så jeg foreslår, at vi ændrer tonen her og nu. Det er ikke #shameondenmark. Det er skam over de mennesker, som vil gøre landet til Helvedes fremmedhadske forgård, skam over de mennesker, som ikke orker at favne og rumme deres medmennesker, skam over de mennesker, som lever i angst og had til andre til det punkt, hvor de ikke længere rummer næstekærlighed. Skam over dem; ikke over Danmark, ikke over danskerne.

Lad os stå sammen og vise verden, at Danmark er kærlighed, at Danmark er, hvad det altid har været: et land, der trods dets bette størrelse både kan og vil hjælpe, rumme, favne og elske. Lad os være tidligere tiders modstandsbevægelse, vores bedsteforældre og oldeforældre som kæmpede mod hadet, hjalp dem i nød og stod frem, når det gjaldt. Lad os vise verden, at det er Danmark. Danmark er ikke vores regering. Danmark er ikke de nyhedsoverskrifter, der nu suser verden rundt. Danmark er os, som træder frem og siger: Stop! Vi vil ikke være med til det her. Og så ændrer vi det.

For faktisk kan vi ændre det. Regeringen er kun så stærk, som de folk, der står bag dem. Og vi er det folk, der kan træde væk og vælge fra. Så jeg foreslår, at det er netop det, vi gør. Vi er mange, rigtigt mange, der ikke vil være med til denne politik. Og når mange står sammen, kan alting ændres.

Det er tid til nye hashtags. #danmarkerkærlighed #dendanskerevolution

Lad os ændre verden nu.


I live in a country, which in these days is much-criticized around the world. Great international media write articles, create satire and put Denmark on the front pages, because the government of this tiny country has voted on laws that reek of past times Nazism and xenophobia. Facebook, Instagram and other social media throw around hashtags like #shameondenmark and #notinmyname. I admit, so does my own Facebookpage. However, as active as I am in the debate on refugees and the rising xenophobia, I stopped when I came across #shameondenmark.

I admit, earlier on I have written the words: I am ashamed … and it’s embarrassing … but actually, I now realize that all of this has nothing to do with me. I am Danish, I am born in Denmark, my Danish heritage goes back hundreds of years. Denmark is my country, my heritage and my blood, but this, this development, has nothing to do with me. I haven’t voted for these people to be government, I haven’t supported these new laws, and I have at no point been part of creating this development in my country. And this is my country! So, no, it isn’t Denmark that should be ashamed. Denmark is a wonderful country, and it’s full of people who both can and will help people in need. It’s brimming with happy, loving, funny people who embrace the rest of the world, who look forward and who fight their own daily battle to change the development towards cold and hate.

So, I suggest that we change the tone here and now. It isn’t #shameondenmark. It’s shame on the people who want to turn this country into the hateful Forecourt of Hell, shame on the people who cannot be bothered to embrace and hold their fellow human beings, shame on the people who live in fear and hate of others to the point where they can no longer contain humanity. Shame on them; not on Denmark, not on the Danes.

Let’s stand together and show the world that Denmark is love, that Denmark is what is has always been: a country that in spite of its tiny size both can and will help, embrace, hold and love. Let us be past time’s resistance movement, our grandparents and great grandparents who fought against the hate, helped those in need and stood tall when it mattered. Let us show the world, that this is Denmark. Denmark isn’t our government. Denmark isn’t those head lines that now fly around the world. Denmark is us who step forward to say: Stop! We will not be part of this. And then we change it.

Because we can change it. The government is only as strong as the people who stand behind them. And we are those people who can step back and choose differently. So I suggest that this is what we do. There are a lot of us, really a lot, who will not agree to these politics. And when many stand together, anything can be changed.

It’s time for new hashtags. #denmarkislove #thedanishrevolution

Let us change the world now.