What If It Was Your Child?
I didn’t plan on writing a blog post tonight. It is 11pm and my eyelids are heavy. My boys are back at school tomorrow and I know that I need to be up bright and early to go through the early morning routine. But I can’t go to bed now. I need to write this as whilst catching up on my facebook blog page tonight, I saw an image of little three year old Aylan Kurdi flash up on my screen. I was shocked and quickly turned away from the image as I found it so upsetting. Yet I am sitting here now with it engrained in my mind as I am sure it will be forever more. I just saw a picture of a three year old boy dead on a beach. I am numb with emotion.
Yes I had heard about it but hearing it and seeing it are two different things. We are able to easily detach ourselves from things that we don’t actually see. We can be selfish and go about our business as if none of these awful things are going on in the world. I don’t have the first clue about politics. My husband often looks at me in despair as I cluelessly ask him about one of the wars going on in this cruel world. In truth I find it so upsetting that I don’t want to know. I figure that if I don’t watch the news I can exist in my own little world where I can think happy thoughts and surround myself with positive people. I would have to be blind not to notice the migrant crisis though and my husband and I have discussed it over breakfast with very differing viewpoints. Whatever your opinion of migrants coming into our country though, I would challenge anybody not to be moved by this weeks events.
(Photo credit – mirror.co.uk)
Every child has the right to live. It doesn’t matter where we are from or who we are, we all deserve a chance at life. Imagine being so desperate that you risk your family getting into a small boat to cross the sea. I am a nervous wreck when my children are jumping into a swimming pool. Just imagine them out in the unpredictable ocean amongst terrifying waves. I feel anxious just thinking about it.
The words that I have ringing in my head right now are those of my eight year old son. He saw a news clip of the migrants in Calais a few weeks ago and said to me ‘Mum, they are criminals, they have no right to come into our country, why can’t they just stay in France’. I was shocked and knew that he had overheard his dad telling me that our country couldn’t cope with any more migrants and they should not be allowed in. I know this is a view shared amongst many others in our country but I have a much more holistic view of the world. I told my son, and my other three sons who were listening intently, that these people were not criminals. They were people just like us who wanted a better life for them…..for their children. I told them that they were coming from countries that were not safe, countries that were swamped with war. I found it easy to explain it to them as I told it in not a political way, but a way that children would understand. I told them in a way that I truly believed and felt passionate about. I hoped that my words of compassion would sink in and they too would show the compassion that I have brought them up with. It is an easy one to explain because strip away all of the politics and it is simple. We are all people. We breathe the same air, we cannot live without food and water and our one unified integral goal in life is to do the best for our children. If that means fleeing your home country because it has been condemned by war then that it what you have to do. For yourself…………for your children. These people are not criminals. They are not coming to cause us any wrong doing. They are just people, people like you and me.
If I was in charge of this world, there would be no wars, everyone would be kind to each other and everyone would respect each others right to live the best life they possibly can in the short time that we are on this earth. My view may be child like, it may be naive and it may be impractical. But it is a view that I want my children to grow up with. When they ask me about bad things happening in other countries I tell them that they are incredibly lucky to have been born into this great country that they have been. The UK is a great country and I want it to always be thought of as this way. But how can we be great if we don’t display the basic human emotions of compassion and empathy to others who need our help? What kind of example are we setting our children if we turn away from children dying in an attempt to come here for a better life?
I won’t ever forget the picture that I saw of little Aylan tonight. He deserved better. He deserved to run around carefree and happy. He deserved our help.
Fly high little angel, x
(You can find ways to help the refugee crisis here.)