Hope, evolution and change


Yesterday I was chairing the panel assessing the so called Himanen Report, commissioned by our Prime Minister's office. While preparing for that task, and running the panel (did not work out very well) another idea started to emerge to my consciousness, which was fortified by remembering my discussion years back with  Prince Hassan of Jordan. This highly eminent person, a global citizen and true dignitary, having fought for more than five decades, mostly behind the scenes, to help to peace and cooperation enter into the turmoil of Middle East, noted to me:  " We can never solve the problem of Middle East unless we see the vast opportunities that the cultural diversity can offer to us. There is no other region in the world where so many cultures meet. We could be the engine of this world, now we are reduced to being a oil-well and the test ground for new weaponry for our civilization. What a shame".

Hassan wrote also a small book called "Hope, Evolution and Change", which I have been mentally carrying with me where ever I go. How could this man, who had seen all madness and misery of Middle East, still bear hope that one day this will be over and something else will emerge and work for that vision endlessly? I felt then as I feel now that there is really something to learn from that attitude.

Reading Himanen's report took me  back to think about how can we get over the present " misery" of our our country, which is a part of misery of Europe.  It seems as if we have got lost of our hope that there is a future for Europe and in a way, this same holds true also for Finland. Yet, at the same time,   we should now, more than ever, remember the original situation of time Robert Schuman , Jean Monnet and the others who  actually formulated  the vision of united Europe. Second world war had just ended and the whole Europe was on its knees. There was nothing but misery and million little tragedies around. Yet what really brought Europe up and running was the belief that only vision lived through by consorted action something sustainable and substantial can be achieved. Europe took the chance and success followed.  But now  we have lost that vision and instead we are inhabitants of endless corridors of economic predicaments. In Europe  as well as in Finland

Hope, evolution and change. We must stick to those words and build hope towards the future. We need to kindle that hope for Finland, which, however, will not be he same Finland in the future. It will will Finland with less borders. It will be also pioneering Finland, the great resource-wise  country of the future and part of the larger network of states. Not necessarily the Union we see now but something else.