Forget about bicycles, tulips and windmills. What really characterizes the Netherlands is much more life-enriching. It comes down to this; Dutch authorities have a plan for pretty much everything.
Days ago, I read a news message saying that a Wolf had been seen in a natural area in the east of the country. A big thing for an urbanized country without any scary animals in the wild. The fact that the female beast was caught on camera (in a forest?) in the vicinity of cubs meant that these furry friends weren’t planning to retreat back into Germany.
No, they are intending to stay. And thereby it is confirmed that the Wolf is officially reintroduced to the Netherlands, after decades of absence. A small victory for nature. Bummer for the folks living in nearby urbanized areas. Which, in the Netherlands, is pretty much everywhere. For a country with such little wilderness, the arrival of a Wolf on the loose, induces quite some fear.
But, no worries. The Dutch government had already foreseen the expansion of family Wolf. And upon this discovery, an officially named ‘Wolf action plan’ has been initialized. This is a book-like protocol, worked out into detail, regarding the approach towards the newcomers.
You have to try and imagine that different authorities, the mayor, police and various experts have had numerous meetings to develop a work of countless pages, just to anticipate on the birth of two cute wolf cubs.
Essence is, that Dutch people always have a plan. For everything. Months or years ahead of a situation. In summer, there is a ‘heat action plan’, developed by various specialized institutions. This plan is immediately implemented whenever the temperature rises above a certain level.
It advises that people with overweight, elder people, the weak and the sick, should be extra careful during this type of weather. Likewise it recommends that citizens should not underestimate the strength of sunlight and drink enough water. How generous. Similar to the Wolf issue, a selection of smart minds have been cracking their brains in order to come up with valuable advise.
I think there are only few other countries better prepared for any event than the Netherlands. Downside is that it kills spontaneity. It’s a bit patronizing too. Upside is that, as a citizen, you don’t have to worry about anything. Everything is anticipated on.
If I may take it a little further; might there be the unfortunate case of a meteorite on crash course with the Netherlands, the local authorities will implement a ‘meteor action plan’, empirically founded by appointed experts. As a matter of fact, I think the authorities already have such a protocol. The Netherlands is a sanctuary. When you follow the steps as described in the plan, you’ll surely be safe from harm.
While writing this, more exciting news came from the Netherlands. This time a bit more gritty though. Of a sudden, the parliament stated unanimously that the Dutch aren’t prepared for death. The statistical institution (CBS) had revealed that people are too avoidant regarding their final hour.
Now, this institution was already a renowned research facility, but these results are really mind-blowing. They calculated somehow that people don’t like to acknowledge that their life isn’t infinitive.
Furthermore they concluded that the Dutch are therefore emotionally and financially underprepared to be burried or cremated.
To stimulate citizens, authorities launched an extensive campaign to inform them that their lives are not infinitive. A governmental webpage will guide you through the process, containing the necessary information, tips and tricks on how to die responsibly.
On the somewhat formal looking webpage (the same interface is used for tax inquiries), the government has collected all information considered to be necessary for a carefree end of life, for it would be a pity to do all the paperwork in your last hour..
So after filling out a somewhat dull questionnaire, an algorithm will tell you what to do. The system reminds you to take into account that death has some emotional aspects too.
The Netherlands proves again that it can (and will) prepare you for pretty much anything.
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