We are each other’s closest relatives
For some of us, the closest relative is one or more next-aiders. Not because one of us helps someone else, but because you are you and I am me. Together, we are next-aiders. If I’m sick you’re there for me. If you get sick I’m there for you.
We are not the Army of Salvation, the Cross of the Church or Red Cross. Not because there is anything wrong with those organizations – not at all. But they are already there and do what they can – and make it excellent. We do something else.
We do not help reformed, we do not help vulnerable. We are reformed, and we are vulnerable – not all of us, but many of us are. We are together, and we help each other. Therefore, we are not a relief organization but a community.
We have no employees. We have no users and we do not receive any public funds. Because we are convinced that you cannot criticize the hand that feeds you – and we will be allowed to criticize any government, any party and any municipality – when we consider it necessary.
The story we would like to tell is not what the media would like to hear. The media will hear the story of the 10-year-old, who, with the help of the next-aiders and in our community, got a childhood birthday. The media will hear about the child who does not get lunch at school. They will hear the story of the help of the terminally ill.
Because we are each other’s closest relatives, the conversation about the flowers at your funeral that we will soon order, is private. These are the stories the media want, but these are not the stories we will give. Giving the media the stories corresponds to selling their best friend. Its soul. The beauty of the present. Confidentiality and silence.
We would rather tell the story of why we should create a society where all 10-year old’s get a birthday. Why we need to create a society where all children get lunches at school. We’d rather tell the story of how we get fewer terminally ill people to be relatives and order bouquets.
We would rather tell the story of who has made the reforms that make people poor. We would rather tell the story of how a meaningless system breaks down healthy people. We would rather tell the story of how it could be done better.
The story we would rather tell is the story of what the reforms do to humans. We will tell the story of what we do to roll back the reforms.
We will tell the story that we are soon many who will be treated as equal people in a country where we increasingly experience that we have no value as humans. Only as a workforce.
That way we are very political. Not party political.
The next helper is help, love, anger and protest in one and the same movement. We are rarely allowed to talk about anger and protest, but it is an important part of those we are.
Linda Villadsen, Co-founder of Næstehjælperne