Imre Sooäär: Fear is the most contagious virus

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Imre Sooäär addressing the Riigikogu. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Fear is the greatest pandemic, the most contagious virus in the world. It creates anxiety, weakens the immune system and hampers common sense. We need to rise above the constraints of our fears and find courage to make decisions with love, Imre Sooäär said in a speech before taking his Riigikogu oath of office.

I left this building four years ago after serving the Estonian people in four consecutive compositions of the Riigikogu. Fate has seen to my return and I stand faced with the toughest choice I have ever had to make.

Signing the oath of office will mean the end to my diplomatic career as a service relationship cannot be suspended upon joining the parliament. Were I to decide based purely on rational considerations, I would surely continue as a career diplomat as I have a world of opportunity and challenges ahead of me there.

However, the coin also has a flip side – the people who have voted for me. How could I look them in the eye after shirking this responsibility in what is a difficult time for Estonia? Would it be right to prioritize my personal interests and leave the country to its own devices at this pivotal moment and continue working as a diplomat? I feel a great responsibility, while I also believe we have no grounds to condemn those who choose the other path.

In the end, there are no right and wrong decisions – there are only choices. And it is important that we choose with a clear conscience. The heart is the symbol of love. Gingerbread hearts are already adorning Christmas trees, we use hearts to support each other on social media and show that we care.

Is it not sad that nowhere in Estonian legislation is the world "love" to be found? We have a Family Act that lacks the definition of a family and makes no mention of love. Why are we too timid to admit that a family is a union of love? Why is the text nothing but officialese, a progression of obligations and responsibility? What about love? Does it not matter?

I have love for all of you, dear delegates. Yes, I also love EKRE (Conservative People's Party) and all their voters. Sincerely. They are also people of Estonia. It is not their fault that a part of our people were forgotten in the past and that some leaders have painted them a picture of the world as it benefits them.

The world around us is just what we believe it to be. But every step and decision creates new reality. We are creators together. We all create the Estonia of tomorrow with our thoughts and decisions.

Why is there so much hate and so little understanding around us? Perhaps we do not have enough love to offset it. Love is the antidote for hate. There is never enough love if we don't share it. Spreading hatred only works to spark counter-hatred and the deficit of love keeps growing. I have long since given up on hate. Only love can take Estonia forward.

But I also believe that the Riigikogu and Estonia cannot be held hostage by any charismatic politician. I believe in a democratic state based on the rule of law and luckily everything is still fine in those terms.

Fear is the greatest pandemic, the most contagious virus in the world. It creates anxiety, weakens the immune system and hampers common sense. We need to rise above the constraints of our fears and find courage to make decisions with love.

In the end, our truth is all we have when we face the almighty. His kingdom of light does not concern itself with marriage equality or fiscal deficit. Everyone is equal there and everything available in abundance. We are all equal in the eyes of God, whether they be Taara, Buddha or the quantum field of the universe.

Everything is a matter of faith. I believe that stardust is what we come from and what we become. The earthly soil is naught but stardust. And stardust matches the pure frequency of love.

That is what I believe. There is not right or wrong. However, we all need a family and a sense of security for the future for us and our loved ones. It is extremely cruel and unfair to ask the Estonian people to split the country by deciding whose families will be allowed to last and whose must suffer because the state refuses to give them security or legal protection.

We have so many other critical problems to address – the pandemic, healthcare, families living below the poverty line, nursing homes, culture, economic recovery etc. These and many other topics deserve attention currently being paid to a factious referendum.

The old Romans said that first you need to get your thoughts in order, then your family and then your country. Should a partnership between two adults that is based on love be protected under the Family Act similarly to a traditional marriage? I believe it should. And I can leave the concept of marriage to those who fear expanding on it. The state is obligated to ensure equal rights for all families.

I do not belong to any party and I promise to maintain my independence after signing this oath of office so as not to clash with my conscience. Hopes of turning me into a tool of the opposition for dismantling the government will be dashed. I have enough strength of character to stick to my truth and choices.

I want to commend Prime Minister Jüri Ratas for including my proposals in his party's program. Several made their way into the coalition agreement. Only the Center Party's election platform includes support for different family models. I highly commend it and will work with the Center Party group as an independent MP in the Riigikogu.

[Chancellor of Justice] Ülle Madise has said that politicians should take better care of their soul. All our days are numbered and we never know when it might be time to go. I want to hang my head for my dear friend Mart Nutt who left us too soon. He inspired me to decide using my heart.

Estonia's interests outweigh personal ones for me. I will take the responsibility. I come to the Riigikogu to build bridges, not to pass judgment or appraise. Not to demolish, but to build. I come here in this dark day to bring as much light and love as I can plant in your hearts and legislation in the form of stardust.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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