“What will happen to this country?” I asked as soon as I sat down in front of him. He laughed. It was obviously a very anticipated question. He said, “No matter what conversation you have with anyone, the subject comes here.” He added, ‘We used to chat on different subjects, now this is the common question for all of us’.
I had the opportunity to meet for an hour or two during the short and very busy period he was in Istanbul with Selçuk Şirin, Ph.D., Professor in the Applied Psychology Department at NYU Steinhardt, who put forward 7 precious recipes for 7 critical issues of our country with his new book, ‘Either justice or misery’. As someone who loves his country and sensitive – even worried – about fundamental issues such as humanity, the environment, and the future, I got up at the end of the conversation with hope and excitement.
Selçuk Şirin insistently emphasizes in his book: ‘Now is not the time to surrender to despair! Neither geography nor ‘destiny’ brought us here. Our past preferences brought us here. From now on, our preferences will be decisive.’
It defines the 7 basic issues of our country within the framework of employment, accommodation, health, education, environment, social trust, happiness and peace. He lays out the scales of justice in each of them. It deepens the issues with concepts such as gender equality, urbanization, rent, discrimination and trust. It lists solutions for each of them.
Take responsibility, make your preferences accordingly!
Personally, I am one of those who think that it is extremely critical to take individual responsibility, take action with the right choices, and take steps for the better and more accurate, albeit small, despite everything. Refraining from taking individual responsibility in the face of big issues; It is necessary to persuade those who are waiting for something to change without doing anything by transferring the issue to other people and institutions and make them take action.
One of the most critical issues not only in our country, but also in the world, such as climate and environmental crisis. It’s as if everyone is in insensitive immobility, as if a hero will come and save the world. The society, which hides behind the cover of “What can I do on my own” and is supposed to teach the world about the hygiene and cleanliness of its home, is not interested in its front door, street, city or even country. However, we all know that won’t happen. We have the solution; It lies in making our choices right and healthy. However, when we realize this responsibility and start making choices accordingly, the transformation will bud, grow and become more and more plural. Every individual who takes responsibility will push their neighbors to take responsibility.
The choices to be made as of today will determine both the upcoming period and the future of new generations. Either we will live in a better, healthy, happy, civilized country and world, or we will narrow this world to ourselves with the problems we have created as a result of our bad choices.
Let’s leave the last word to Selçuk Şirin: ‘We have no time to wait and waste. Now is the time to hit the road. As Mevlâna said, the road is only visible to those who set out.‘