The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

When we say nothing at all

on September 4, 2015

I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. 

Yet does it mean I shouldn’t say anything at all? Let it all blow over until some other world news item comes along to take its place like it surely will.  

I know a reaction will have been stirred deep within everyone who has seen the image of the lone boy washed to shore on a Turkish beach. It is impossible to look at it without feeling an overwhelming surge of emotion that is hard to put into words.

Such is the power of the media both traditional and new. One day it wants to influence you this way and the next a different way. 

As the world looks on at a situation that has been unfolding for some time. How many of us know all the facts that has led to so many families taking this risk to try and escape a life of atrocity that they know of. In the hopes of finding a better life eventually in some unknown place who knows where. 
All too often when you watch the news and see events happening some place else it can feel so distant. Like the images depicting the destruction of the ancient temples preserved for centuries in Palmyra, Syria. 

Then suddenly this week we see images of people who once lived in Syria washed up on the shores of Turkey in an attempt to reach the island of Kos, Greece. Names of places that sound less distant. Familiar. Places you may have even been to. 

I don’t know the political facts that have led to this point in history. Whether it is down to the removal of one tyrant that has only led to the uprising of another more powerful and deadly version to take its place. Whether it is because this government or that who has not acted fast enough in giving help to those who desperately need it. 

I know I often feel weary just thinking about the level of conflict that exists all over the world. Sometimes you can read about it and move on.

Sometimes you can’t. The boy in the image was three years old and died along with his five year old brother and his 35 year old mother. We know their names and we’ve seen the grief etched in their father’s face who survived. I can’t even think about his guilt or loss because it makes my eyes well with tears. Just like it did when I saw the image of his face in this morning’s news sites when I was at work.

I truly don’t know what to say. Nothing feels adequate enough. How can anything I say resonate with this situation when nothing in my life bears any comparison to the lives lived by people who have now lost them. 

I often wonder how people who have all lived on this planet for the same length of time can have such vastly differing lives. Even from one neighbouring country to another. I realise just how fortunate I am by chance to have the life I have. 

I’m pretty sure if I had not moved to Singapore, my world would have been further sheltered from the discrepancies of wealth, opportunity and equality that exists. When a person moves from one country to live in another, there are many words you can use to describe them. Expatriate. Migrant. Refugee. Asylum seeker. Displaced. Illegal. 

I don’t know what to say about what I think should be done. But this hasn’t stopped people voicing their opinions on forums all over social media. It’s in turn interesting, heartwarming and incredible the views that people have. 

Even though I don’t know what to say, I don’t want to let it go unacknowledged either. The tragedy is not just the loss of such young life or the depiction of this one event. It is the accumulation of a sequence of events that has been affecting people’s lives for a long long time with no end in sight. It may not stop there either. The despair I feel is what will stop everything else related to this event. 

In some small insignificant way, I need to express appreciation for the life and opportunities I have. I don’t feel like making inconsequential comments on social media right now as it just doesn’t seem appropriate. 

So I don’t know what to say. Except I hope some good will come of this to redesign the way we look at each other. Without prejudice and with understanding and compassion. To be that bit kinder to each other and ourselves. To provide hope and support to people who need it. 

  

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