It is a harrowing time on the news at the moment. Refugees fleeing from war torn Syria in any way that they can find possible has left those people that haven’t died in the process, being left in desperate need of everything that we in the more affluent Country’s take for granted. We cannot comprehend how bad life must be for a person to grab their loved ones and run, to clamber onto a boat that is overflowing with others in the same desperate situation and float away to who knows where, just hoping that is somewhere better than from where they have come from. Then, for that boat to start to take in water, miles from any shore, knowing that there is nowhere left to run. If they are part of the lucky few, the rescue boats from sympathetic Countries that are searching for them pick them and bring them to safety. For those others, the ones who hold onto their children as they sink lower and lower into those murky depths, who try to keep their loved ones heads above water as they themselves struggle to keep afloat, there is no rescue. Today’s news is flooded with images which cannot be adequately described in their horror. No person can say that the picture of a three year old boy, washed up dead on a Turkish beach as his family fled to Greece, doesn’t turn their stomach, giving them a lump in their throat and more than one tear in their eye.
As a Mother of three boys I cannot help but think of all that I would go through to protect them even now they are adults, and all that I did to protect them when they were the age of that poor little boy and I was a single parent living on the breadline. It makes me realise that my idea of the breadline was nothing compared to how these refugees are experiencing life. We are lucky that we are safe, purely by accident of where we were born and the safeguards that our Governments over the years have put in place to ensure that we have basic shelter, food and medical care. That we are protected and safe when we sleep in our homes at night. Yes, we can complain about our days of ‘Austerity’. We can complain that our disabled and unemployed could probably do with just a little more money in order to get by. We have complained greatly in the past about the amount of immigrants that arrive on our shores and claim benefits that we have worked to pay for and we have shouted for them to be stopped, to pay for our own before we pay for them. That they should go back to where they come from. The difference here is that these people are different. This is an unknown quantity of people; men, women and children just like us who cannot return to their homes, they have no homes left to go to, no governments that are going to keep them safe, no food, no drink, no clothing, no medical care… they only have themselves and those that have managed to stay with them through all the danger of their flight from the hell that they used to call home.
With all of this going on around us it is hard to see how we can have a ‘happy day’ when so many others are struggling just to survive. I can continue with my personal challenge of ensuring something I do today brings a smile to another person’s face and I have achieved that. I have taken the time today to listen to a friend in need and provide a safe haven for them to vent their frustration and problems. To be there for someone else in their time of need is just as important as making them smile, to listen and watch and maybe offer a hug if they so wish for that to happen can make all the difference when, to them, the world is turning black.
So, today hasn’t been about making anyone laugh and sing, it has been about attempting to lighten the darkness, just a little bit, one shade at a time. I only wish that I could have done this for that one little boy.
Today is always a good day. x