Alexander the Great (who was tutored by Aristotle from the age of 13 to 16, died at the age of 33, and advertised his death as a beggar) had to cope with a unique species of horse. The horse was a beautiful but obstinate, scary, and annoying creature. This horse refused to let anyone ride it. Despite his father Philip’s disapproval, Alexander persisted in his efforts to tame the horse. When young Alexander realized that the horse was terrified of its own shadow, he grabbed the horse’s neck and turned its head toward the sun. When the horse’s eyes met the sun, the horse was liberated from its fear of the horse walking alongside it (its own shadow).
Alexander fell madly in love with the horse, which he named Bucephalus. It literally means “bull’s head.” Bucephalus, with Alexander on its back, battled boldly in the middle of gleaming swords and blood fountains. Bucephalus died of old age and was buried in what is now Pakistan. Alexander named a city in honour of his devoted mute companion. The same horse was formerly terrified of its own shadow, but after gazing at the sun, we don’t know where his dread went, but he transformed from a rebellious and fearful animal to a symbol of fear to his master’s foes. Moreover, he made history by fighting the most brutal fights.
To grasp this technique of moving our gaze away from the shade and focusing on the sun, we must examine the Walt Waltman statement: “Turn your face to the sun and the shadow will fall behind you.” Its clear and concise meaning is to concentrate on the positive and dismiss the negative things. Such counsel is given to people of all ages in every family and society. Positive and negative things are weighed based on their long-term impacts, not short-term pleasures.
In Finland, the presence of immigrants in the country is being portrayed negatively, which is increasing people’s hostility toward immigrants in general, and various ethnic groups in particular. It has effects on both society and the economy. Finland is a country with a fast-declining working-age population. All major parties agree that the country requires skilled labour. According to a poll, 26% of employees in the food and cleaning industries are from immigrant backgrounds. Regrettably, the amount of highly educated or professional people who are forced to abandon their field of experience and education to pursue this vocation is not included in this research.
According to Pekka Myrskylä’s study report 70% of incoming immigrants to Finland are the working-age population. The vast majority of them are young adults. Instead, programs and arrangements were designed with the working class in mind so that they might enter the labor market and help the economy. However, propaganda against this particular ethnic group is intensifying, and as a result, the unemployment rate among people of African origins is one of the highest. Unemployed people who file for social security benefits while legally entitled unknowingly provide their opponents with additional evidence that they are siphoning off government money for free.
On the one hand, ethnic bias is reducing employment chances. On the other side, being blamed for digesting taxpayers’ money creates despair, an inferiority complex, and a loss of self-confidence in many people. The constant repetition of such claims widens the gap between social groupings. Unaware of the consequences, people from migrant backgrounds are leaving more negative evidence against themselves by gathering in a city, a street, or even an apartment based on language, ethnicity, and geography. It demonstrates that people’s attention is drawn to the “shadow” (dark and unpleasant things) rather than the sun (bright or positivity).
If anti-immigrant groups are genuinely and sincerely concerned about the country and its economy or are worried about the consumption of taxpayers’ money, they would have enlisted the assistance of these people, special groups, or ethnic groups and planned and moderated public opinion so that they could get a job or do business and pay taxes. But, to fuel bigotry in politics, bigots want their targeted victims to make as many mistakes as possible. They would rejoice if anybody from a particular background committed a crime. As a result, they can utilize statistics to obtain widespread sympathy and votes. It should be reminded that garnering general support and a high number of votes does not imply accuracy or having the correct viewpoint.
Adolf Hitler won widespread support during his reign for his repeated racial slurs directed at Jews, who made up less than 1% of the German population. Hitler used radio, television, newspapers, commercials, songs, educational institutions, offices, publications, books, theatres, and movies to captivate public support and justify the slaughter of six million Jews. However, history has shown that removing the stain of innocent Jewish blood from Germany’s history is impossible. One cannot understand how a lunatic kidnapped the land of philosophers, economists, psychologists, writers, poets, educators, scientists, artists, and inventors with phoney slogans. Even today, hundreds of years later, heads of state, popes, and public figures apologize for mistakes made hundreds of years before. Those “popular decisions” were backed by the masses.
Finland’s political elites and civil society should be aware of changing societal thinking. Why are people easily persuaded to relocate inside the country to a specific city, town, or even the same street based on nationality, language, and ethnicity? What are their concerns, and why are they sceptical of a bright future? There may be an unnamed fear and anxiety about the future driving the refugees to Helsinki, Espoo, and a few other towns. Anti-immigrant groups that are opposed to the influx of refugees coming to Finland, or who believe that immigrants are a financial burden on the economy, or political workers who seek harsher court sentences for immigrant lawbreakers, must also encourage, guide, and assist unemployed migrants in finding work or establishing a business.
There are two things to keep in mind. First, Finland is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees, and as a member of the EU obligated by international human rights treaties and EU regulations, it cannot send back refugees to their native countries without a compelling reason. Second, all registered political parties, whether far-right or left wings, love Finland and are dedicated to preserving its dignity and international image.
The most incredible way to decrease the economic burden of refugees on the economy is to set minor disagreements aside and collaborate to create a pleasant atmosphere for them in society, the media, and the public. Making friends and hearing and sharing with one another can also help to bridge gaps between social groups. The exact amount of energy is expended in bullying people as a member of a specific political organization as it is in being the face of one’s homeland, Finland, through positivism. It is important to know whether you are focusing on “the shadow or the sun.”
People from migrant backgrounds should be vigilant of opportunists in their midst as well so that they can make autonomous strategies to project a positive image as people in order to encourage rather than mislead their host communities. Many supporters and well-wishers of immigrants in Finland desire positive and inspiring news so that they can get support for them from all walks of life. It is also critical that people from migrant backgrounds integrate into the local community rather than live in tiny groups. This will help them learn the language, develop social skills, and boost their chances of finding work. As immigrants, if you want to get together to live in the same locality, street, or even apartment where people from your cultural and linguistic background live, you may find some temporary psychological comfort, but your personal growth will slow down. Because your neighbour, friend and friendships, spoken language, and social environment will be the same as from where you migrated away. You will be living in your native environment both psychologically and socially. Moving to a new nation entails learning a new language, adopting new social norms and etiquette, trying new foods, and establishing new acquaintances; in short, starting a new life.
Religion and belief are not included because they are very personal matters. People of different faiths can speak the same language, be citizens of the same nation, and have the same social etiquette and customs. The main emphasis is on social life outside the home. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, according to an English proverb. There would be confusion if we do in Rome what the Greeks do in Athens. As humans, we have a greater potential for transformation than Bucephalus. Positive thinking articles, books, lectures, counselling, TV series, and movies are all “Alexander the Great” endeavours to get us to grip our necks and turn our faces to the sun. The shadows and despair fade away when we turn our faces toward the sun. Then a new chapter of communal harmony in history will begin.