[190] One Country to Rule Them All – Hope in Times of Corona

It was only one country to force the world on their knees. One action to drag the world into the global disaster. The beginning of the Great War shows tremendous parallels with the beginning of the Great Pandemic.

In both cases, there was only one action needed in one country to rule or ruin the entire world. One decision – wrong or right – that turned the world upside down within a short time frame. One moment that marked the end of the world as we knew it.

The Great War

Belgium, the tiny European nation turned out to be pretty powerful in the Great War, commanding the entire world to come her to the rescue. But why was that? And why does it matter in times of Corona?

It matters because it demonstrates the ripple effect of the small action and words of a small country at the beginning of the Great War; similar to the beginning of the Great Pandemic with the infection of one person in one country in the world.

But how could one deed become as powerful?

The Great Beginning

As explained yesterday, the dwarf Belgium was confident it could win from giant Germany. As the old proverb goes: who isn’t strong, must be smart. Belgium was outsmarting the country that obviously outnumbered them.

When Belgium did not let the Germans pass, they were confident its allies would come to the rescue. They were confident they just had to give a shout and the entire world would resonate. And so, they shouted.

Belgium was outsmarting the country that outnumbered them.

They called the British army, that would drag the entire commonwealth into the battlefields. Belgium blew the horn, and within days not only France, but as well Britain and Russia were officially at war with not only Germany, but with Austria-Hungary as well. Let The Great War Begin!

Fast Rewind

However, this still does not explain why all these countries mobilised as soon as Germany knocked on Belgium’s doors.

Therefore, we have to dive even deeper in history, knowing that what happened then, has become incredibly relevant in today’s Corona-world, and will be even more determining in tomorrow’s post-Corona World.

Bear with me. Here we go.

Belgium knew Britain would come to the rescue because they signed a Treaty. In The Treaty of London in 1839 they promised to protect Belgium’s neutrality. Meaning: if one country would attack Belgium, the other signatories would come to the rescue.

But why did they sign this? To stop the ongoing wars in this little country that was overtaken by other European forces time over time. Not because of the other European powers – and especially Britain – felt a pity for Belgium, but to protect their own security.

The ongoing wars were – and always are – not only a treat for countries’ security, but as well for their economy and overall well-being. Peace was (and is) in the overall interests of all nations. Hence, they recognised Belgium as an official country and as a neutral one. A beacon of peace in the heart of Europe’s Central Powers.

Great Allies

Moreover, countries soon realised they needed each other to protect their security, to safeguard peace, and protect all kinds of interests. They knew history’s most important message: stand together, or stand not at all.

Therefore, they started establishing allies: at one side there were Germany and Austria-Hungary (later joined by Italy), and at the other side there were France and Russia, later joined by Britain.

In between of them: the neutral country Belgium, protected by all surrounding countries. As such Belgium became a buffer; a no war zone in the middle of the biggest European allies. Therefore, attacking Belgium would endanger all other countries, and therefore, these countries would come to the rescue.

Short-Sight Memo

So, why would Germany have taken such a foolish decision to attack Belgium if they knew this could trigger a big war? First of all, because earlier disputes between countries not always dragged their allies in the conflict, and second of all because they hoped Britain would not come to the rescue: they even asked them to ignore the Treaty.

But they did not, and the rest is history.

Nevertheless, the Germans made the obvious decision, the short-cut to Paris, the one that would serve the short-term benefits. But they did not foresee the long-term effects of their decision.

They did not take into account how one action would have a ripple effect that would spread out soonish over the entire world. They did not act up on the fact that one small gesture would disturb the global scenery within days, weeks, months.

The Great Pandemic

And that brings us from the Great War back to the Great Pandemic.

We live in a globalised world; hence, small local actions do have the potential to have a huge global impact. Therefore, we should not underestimate the possible global impact of  individual actions. They can cause a tremendous ripple effect with unprecedent consequences, for the good and the bad.

The fact that you are in lockdown, respecting social distancing rules, and even considering wearing a mouth mask or not, demonstrates that you are at some level aware of the possible ripple effect of your actions.

It goes even beyond the Pandemic; go through your day, think of the small actions that might have huge consequences. The things you’ve said, the things you’ve done. We all have more possible impact than we think, the potential of our actions and words goes further then we might be able to see.

One action to rule or ruin the world; one word to open or close doors; one movement to build or blow up bridges.

Be aware and careful with the ripple effect of your words and deeds, for the ripple effect of single actions, nations, and actors; use it for the good, or to protect from the bad; for that is how we can shape the world and write history. One word at a time.

As the Great Pandemic and the Great War have shown: there is a secret strategy to control and direct the global ripple effect. But that is for tomorrow.


This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

  1. how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
  2. how you can contribute to this battle, 
  3. how gratitude lights up the dark,  
  4. how united we will stand strong
  5. on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis 
  6. how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands, 
  7. how being calm can get us through the storm.
  8. about Love in Times of Corona
  9. how to discover your own talents 
  10. why we need stories to hold on to 
  11. how you can be creative and innovative.
  12. how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
  13. how to listen to the sound of silence. 
  14. How breate taking Corona really is.
  15. discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us, 
  16. about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
  17. about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
  18. about the position of nature in this entire story
  19. about nature bouncing back
  20. about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
  21. about the game to play
  22. about star gazing in dark times
  23. About looking for Meaning
  24. about what Easter and Corona have in Common
  25. About the Shark and the Turtle
  26. About the Irony of Distance
  27. Why to Hold on
  28. Fake News
  29. about The Big Unknown we live at
  30. about Feeling Alive
  31. about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life 
  32. About where we should go from here?
  33. About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
  34. about history’s most important message, echoed by corona

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.

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