Germany started to celebrate Halloween maybe a dozen years ago. It’s originally not a German tradition.
But my compatriotes got into the halloween spirit and now embrace it with German efficiency.
You can witness one example of this in German politics at the moment:
Out of the blue and with no foundation in reality we have a major discussion about immigration. About the “dangers” of immigration, of course.
Everyone and their dog has a take on “Schrödinger’s immigrant”. (Who, apparently can – at the same time – steal your job and live off social welfare.)
Let me stress: There is literally no base in reality for this discussion.
So, why do Germans engage in this nonsense?
I just realised this: It’s about Halloween. People love halloween and horror movies and scary stories for one simple reason: You get this pleasant tickle down your spine, while you understand very clearly that there is no real danger.
So, Germany is again stoking the fear of immigrants, because it allows my compatriotes to be scared – while knowing perfectly well, that nothing bad is happening in reality.
And that helps us to forget all the real problems we have:
- Climate change is forcing us to adapt to a very different world.
- Our resistance to progress starts to threaten our wealth, while German car manufacturers see their clients leave for BYD, Tesla and other car makers.
- The huge demographic gap in Germany will lead to a mountain of costs for pensions and healthcare for the elderly – that fewer and fewer workers have to pay for.
- And the very concrete thread for everyone who is above 50 (the majority of Germans): To rot in a retirement home, where you will wait for hours for a nurse to take care of you – because they are massively understaffed, due to labor shortage.
All these things are really, really scary. And worse: They make my compatriotes feel guilty, because they understand that it is their own resistance to change that created all these problems.
So, do they face their feelings of guilt and do they start to make rational decisions to save our wealth and our democracy?
They project their fears on immigrants. Because hating them has no real life consequences (they wrongly believe.)
Schrödinger’s immigrant and Halloween both allow you to release your fear, while knowing that nothing bad is happening in reality.
And then they can go on pretending.
Thirteen years ago I created “Immigrant Spirit”, because I realised that Germany needs to change. I wanted to help proactive, brave people like you to build a better life for themselves – and to help reform my home country.
THE IMMIGRANT SPIRIT
- Optimism – Believe in your strength to build a good life.
- Vigor – Don’t wait for permission. High energy makes things happen.
- Courage – To avoid all risks means not to live. Take risks to get ahead.
- Stamina – No pain, no gain. Carry on when times are tough.
- Openess – Build friendships based on values. Not heritage.
- Giver’s Gain – Give back to society.
This is still my mission today.
If you plan to build a career in Germany (or any other part of the European Union): I am your ally. Tell me what you need to change right now to move your career forward. I might have advice for you.
I wish you success.
PS: Good input creates good output. The best way to get useful advice from me:
1. Explain your biggest challenge to reaching your career goal.
2. Explain in one sentence why it is so important
3. Tell me as specific and detailed as possible what your challenge is.
About the author
Chris Pyak is the Author of “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans“. The career coach for international professionals has lived in seven countries and worked in five different cultures
Chris returned to Germany in 2011. His mission: Bring the Immigrant Spirit to his home country.
Chris helps international professionals get jobs in Germany and other EU countries.
Chris Pyak is regularly quoted as an expert on international recruiting and immigration by German quality media from ARD to “Die Zeit”.