Entrepreneurship can fight terrorism

This article develops the idea that terrorism is driven by missery, and in order to combat missery we need to help local entrepreneurs in the right way, as Ernesto Sirolli has done for years.

Terrorism is the frontline of our century. A wide diffusion across the entire planet thanks to media in the age of information and communication is the goal of every terrorist organization: their strength is not in numbers, new weapons, and battles to win, but fear.  The more is the fear that they can generate in citizens the more is their power to condition and influence the life of everyone directly or indirectly.

People who are capable to rule this kind of strategy are very intelligent, but WHO rules the terrorist attack is not the one who attack. For one “Doctor Evil” there are a lot of people who are decided to fight and die at his command. Who are these people? How Al Qaeda find people decided to explode in a place killing people with their own death?

The answer is the same: because they look between people that live in misery and ignorance. Their life is every day the same struggle to eat, their only wish is survive another day and help their family to survive too. This condition of life not only damages the health of the body and is not money or a job the solution for their life. They need Hope, they need Passion, they need something that boost their spirit and teach them that a change is possible.

Al Qaeda promise Paradise, the eternal life in the Eden enjoying the company of God and a plenty of pleasures as price for the sacrifice. Terrorism promises a perfect life, with money, with happiness, and respect, a life with no enemies alive, when a man can walk tall in the street while other people are scared and envy him. The same boy that in the past was miserable, invisible is just a subject of compassion but without any role in society. Both are lies: if there’s a God he’s not waiting to embrace assassins, and when a boy join the world of crime the most part of his life will be hidden.

Then, the second question is: we know what the cause of terrorism is, what the matter that feeds the problem is. But what can we do? History teaches us that bombing and invading a country is not a solution and it just increases the problem because every war generates new enemies. One of the common ideas to help people in places where life is hard and misery is everywhere is “we must help them”, “send them some money”, “let’s go there teaching them how to live”.

These are good intentions, but the path to Hell is paved of good intentions. Our way of thinking is still neo-colonialist. We think in this way because for us it’s easier think that people from poor country are a lower humanity, like children of the world that we must care, and is very hard consider that they aren’t babies that can’t walk alone but they are just different. They think different because they are adapted to the place where they live, culture and biology make them perfect to live in their places as they lived for thousands of years before our arrival. We are the cause of their problem because after draining their resources for our “growth” we think that they must grow as we have done, in the very same way. So we send in their country millions of dollars, thousands of volunteer’s to teach them to be like we are. Wrong, completely wrong.

Nobody likes a father that educates a son deciding what the son has to do and how he has to do each thing. If you prefer basket you will not be happy if your father force you to play baseball. If you want to be a doctor you will not like if your father decide that you have to be an economist like him! You will say “thank you dad, I love you, I appreciate that you take care of me, but I’m a man with my Passions, my Hope, my Way of Living, my Opinions. I can’t be you even if I’m grateful, I like you, and I respect you your successful life.”

This is how we act with our brothers of poor countries. We think that to end their misery and save them to their problems they have to copy us.

Ernesto Sirolli is a man that worked in Africa as a volunteer for many years. He understood how a colonialist way of thinking is dangerous or useless. He saw a lot of projects made to aid African people to fight misery FAIL until he created his own project: a completely different point of view about help, a revolution.

He helps who want to be helped. It sounds bad but this is a fact. No more paternalistic non senses. If we want to help a people or country we have to LISTEN. Not talk, not teach, but KNOW them. What do they want? What are their passions and hopes? If we want to fight terrorism we have to fight misery and if we want to fight and beat misery we have to change our methodology. We don’t have to tell poor populations that they have to be all farmers, doctors and economist. Entrepreneurship is what they have to do. They know their countries more than us, so among them are already hidden their Steve Jobs or their Richard Branson with great ideas.

The effective way to aid other countries is just telling them that we are there to listen to them. That our help will be answering questions on what they want to do. Encourage persons with an entrepreneurial vision means strength their hopes, their dignity, their will to live better but as they want and not as we do.

 Danilo F.