It’s a challenging time in the world. We can’t hide away from it. The world we are in spews disturbing photos through our mobiles, iPads and laptops. Whether we want to see it or not. Facebook and Twitter can’t deny you the tragedy that is going on. Thousands and thousands of people, men, children, women risking their lives, fleeing war torn cities. Literally dying to find a safe place.

Imagine living somewhere that you felt it was a better option to put your family, your young children, on a flimsy overcrowded boat, knowing there was no certainty in getting across the water. No certainty that you, or your children, will make it alive. Imagine making that choice? 

It’s not our problem. I’ve read it many times on Facebook. Look after ‘our own’ I read. 

 Since when was it ok to just look ‘after our own’? 

 Who are our own? Do they have to be white? Do they have to be poor? Do they have to be someone who doesn’t take drugs? Do they have to be someone who doesn’t abuse alcohol? Do they have to have a good job? Do they have to be religious? Do they have to be just like you? 

When I lost Tes, many people looked after me and my family. Not all of them were people that would have referred to me as one of ‘their own’. 

 I didn’t know the family that sent me a CD of calming music. I didn’t know the nurse that sent me a card to say he was thinking of me. I didn’t know the man who wrote a poem about Tes. I didn’t know many of the people that donated in her memory. I didn’t know the woman who still sends me a card on Tes’s birthday to say she’s thinking of us. I still don’t know all the people that baked cakes and cooked our food or all the people who washed and ironed our clothes. I didn’t know the people who gave Tesni the most dignified goodbye and who refused to charge for any of their services. 

 What if they had all decided to just look after their own?

 Not knowing someone can’t mean we turn our backs. Not knowing someone can’t mean we don’t care. Not knowing someone doesn’t mean they are bad. 

  We can’t change the world but we can change our attitudes. It’s not a choice between who gets our help. Look after your own but look after someone you don’t know too. You may not ever know how you made them feel. But, they will.

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