Balkan Blog Roundup: Focus on the Positive

The Balkans need reconciliation, confidence and positivism to change and become the winning region of Europe with happier citizens. You can see that in the inspirational words from the Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian blogospheres. Toshiba posts some thoughts of the late Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic during his motivational meetings with the people (SRP):

I came in this morning at the gate of the Jagodina cable factory. I saw a nice clock at the entrance. It didn't work. I wanted to get back. I said – OK. You have problem with resources and cash flow but why doesn’t this clock work? What is the issue? That is the point. Let’s do what we can do and then look for excuses. You say – world conspiracy. Maybe there is a world conspiracy against us. But, first of all, let’s see what we can do in our own yard, our city, and our country. If we do our homework, then we can see if the teacher hates us or not.

I plea with each one you. When you wake up tomorrow, just say – there is another day, I have got a chance to do something. When the day finishes up, don't say – thank God another day has ended. Life is a miracle given to us! I will tell you something which is not for television. One human being is just one of 40,000 spermatozoa. Only that one succeeded. The other 39,999 didn't make it. It means – you are all champs! Everybody who has been born is already a winner. And then you say – life is nothing, I will take drugs, I will get drunk. Stop, man! Your responsibility to yourself and God is enormous. You won one of the most important games of them all. You are alive. You got born. Do something positive with your life. We need that atmosphere with our people! We need to crash that feeling which stayed since the Ottoman Empire rule in Serbia. We say – it's easy, I'll do it tomorrow, I can't do that, they are all against us. Of course, the world is a cruel market. People don't like each other. Everybody likes himself. Why don't we like ourselves like Americans like themselves and then we can see who is more successful. Because we don't like ourselves so much and they like themselves, they are always better than us. Are we guilty for not loving ourselves or is somebody else to blame? We are guilty!

There is no sleeping! We can't be a world champion and sleep all the time. You can sleep five or six hours. Why do you need more to sleep? You will sleep when you get old. Old people can sleep. If you are not old, don't sleep. […] There is no Saturdays or Sundays. If you want to achieve something big, there are no holidays. There are 170 religious festivities annually in Serbia. We are going to celebrate when we win. We can't win if we celebrate during the training. You have to motivate yourself, your neighbors and all members of the team in order to achieve the great goal. Our goal is to bring Serbia into the family of developed countries. It is such an enormous cause, it makes every sacrifice too small. We are ready to work even more, but we need your help. You have got to wash your face with cold water. If it doesn't help, get a cold shower. You need to clean up your house, both literally and figuratively; to arrange your living environment; to establish measures and standards of quality, good results and responsibility. Thus, with the help of the policies you implement locally and the ones we implement globally, we can become champions. There are no obstacles within the system for positive selection of the people, there are no obstacles for the right things to happen. […] The state policy was to give a good position to the stupid person so he or she could never overthrow you. That's not the state policy now. I appointed [Bozidar Djelic] to be the finance minister and he is smarter than me. Why would I need him if I knew economics better than he did? Mirko Marjanovic wanted everybody else in the government to know less than he did. As he knew very little, the others didn't know anything.

We are destroying the greatest of all potentials – people and knowledge. There are many poor countries plentiful with resources like diamonds, gold and energy. That's because the people aren't able to use them wisely. There are rich countries without of any resources because people are able to organize themselves. It means that everything depends on the people!

I read in a newspaper once – Prime minister has got a problem, he is hyperactive. From the slug’s point of view a turtle is hyperactive!

I respect the saying of one old Indian wise man from the nineteenth century. He said – if you got to swallow a frog, do that at once. If you got to swallow a few frogs, swallow the biggest first. It means – if you have to solve some problem, access it right now. Don’t wait till it comes to you.

When I say to people – let’s do something! – they ask me – against whom? I tell them – there is no enemy. We have got partners only. They tell me – we don’t understand that. We can understand if you tell us who is against us and then we can see what we can do. That is our problem. We can easily unite against someone else. It is difficult for us to unite for our own sake. Why don’t we do everything for ourselves and then do something against someone else. That moment won’t come because we will always have something to do for ourselves. You are young people. I want to tell you something. Look towards the future. Look towards the future and there we shall meet. […]

It appears we are the people with a strong intuition to start the right things but we don’t have the persistence to finish it up. The Saint Sava temple was a symbol of our national low self-reliance. From now on, we are the people who finish up all the projects!

It is considered a wise thing in Serbia if you say – I will lose before the game starts. And then, you are wise because you got the score right. If you do that, then don’t play the game at all. Before every match I say – We shall win. It doesn’t mean we are going to win every time. But if I didn’t believe this country could triumph, I would hand my position to another person.

There is no way to change Serbia if we all stay unchanged. In order to alter Serbia, each and every one of us got to change.

Armin Cengic is determined to destroy walls in order to contribute to the well-being of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He states (BOS):

Open letter to my Orthodox neighbor!

Dear neighbor,

Words to be written are intended to crush the walls of suspicion and disbelief between us established a long time ago. I experienced the last [civil war in Bosnia] like you, just like our fathers and grandfathers experienced the other wars in the past! I experienced it both financially and emotionally… Thank God, nobody got killed in my family. It is a pity my and your neighbors can’t say that. […] The reason why we don’t accept our blame is that complex and that [brainwash]… luckily, I hope you will see it; we all don’t have so many complexes. […] I want to write about events I was involved in. They took place in Sarajevo [during the war]. […] “War will start in a few months; those heads we lose in the areas where we are minority, we got to “make up” here where we are majority! It means we got to eliminate (!) as much Serbs as possible! I will take care to provide you with two trucks of Hungarian Kalashnikovs, and you will collect about 60000 of German marks to pay goods and transport. I talk to you, Amir, because you know many people and you are able to do that. It has been decided [100%]. War will [rage soon]!”

Those were the words of Namik Bukvica. At the moment, he was a high-ranked official in the Bosnian government ministry of social issues!

It is true I consulted with my friends about this terrible news […]. First of all, every member of the Bjelavica community didn’t like this gentleman’s idea! Should I say that such orders don’t fit into teaching of any well known religion […]?

I specially didn’t love the idea to go to the door of my elementary school teacher Nada Despotovic and her son Djordje, with Hungarian Kalashnikov in my hands and kill them just because of the demography of Bukvica. Thus, after a few more meetings, we thanked him for his services and severed any contact! That probably contributed to attaching to Bejelavica the label of a pacific [part of the city]. It was the only one in Sarajevo which didn’t have its brigade during the whole war.


Dear neighbor, as you know, I made the first step toward crushing mistrust [between us] and you can, if you want to, do the other one, inform all the [relevant] organizations from country and abroad that I am ready to testify in front all the victims of the war, and specially, in our case, Sarajevo Serbs.

If we don’t determine responsibility for what happened before and during the war, Serbia, Republic of Srpska and Serbs will bear all the moral and economic responsibility! My sick mother and blind brother won’t have any use because of this responsibility; again Mr. Bukvic and many other [initiators of the war] will prosper as members of our as well as your institutions.

I am available to talk to all the people who respect justice as well as to all the victims of war, their families, invalids, etc…

Please receive my sincere neighbor greetings,
Let us celebrate God, and may God help us all.

Ivan from Croatia speaks up about psychological walls that prevent him from communicating of his feelings (HRV):

How do we break the walls?

Of course, concrete walls aren’t in question, it is easy to crush those no matter how tall and thick they are.

The answer to this question isn’t communication, because people who can and know how to communicate don’t build the walls between themselves. It is the easiest task to tell people – “Well, talk…” Often, discussion results in adding bricks to the wall instead of crushing it. People even stop talking in order not to continue with the further construction of the wall.

Instead, one needs to go the other way, to turn to himself. Build yourself in order to become a happy and independent person […]. We have to take responsibility for our own actions and feelings. […] He or she can invite us to some feeling, but the final decision lies with us. We have to build a skill to deny the call, if we don’t like it or if it is against our own interests.


It's empowering to know our own feelings are our own responsibility, it enables us to break walls because we would not judge the other person because we feel bad. Only when we liberate ourselves of accusations towards the others, we can start to crush those walls gradually by exploring them and knocking those walls down slowly. When we both realize, we are on the same task, we will see the walls that appeared thick and concrete are thin like carton now.

On the other hand, we may realize, we are not on the same task. Many are scared of that notion. That is the reason why they don’t want to begin with the change. It is good to find that out and determine to position ourselves the best way in dealing with the problem. In any case, bare notion that we are only guilty of our emotions (and can control them) is healing.

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