Like it or not the election campaign is in full swing and its hard to ignore or avoid it completely. It’s everywhere; on the TV, the radio, knocks on your door, waiting at train stations to suddenly wanting to shake your hand to unwanted flyers shoved through your letterbox!
This year I am not ignoring the election and am all organised to vote ❎. What’s different is that I am in that place in life where I feel passionately about what’s right, what justice needs to look like and a more acute sense of awareness and compassion for some of my fellow beings. I cannot just sit by and do nothing. It’s not me, never has been, come to think of it. I have always fought and challenged (even to my own detriment) what’s unfair, for the underdog, for those who remain unseen, unheard, ignored, abused, left, hurt and neglected. I guess I do this because to a large extent I am all of these things too and in my own life I have experienced my own share of injustice. And as life progresses in terms of time I see more and more of what shouldn’t be continuing to exist in the universe and getting away with it. Regardless of all that’s wrong in this world, there is, I’d like to believe at least, good things and good intentions are around; they exist too.
I feel strongly about the recent deaths at sea, the ongoing no time limit for those held in detention, the so-called “rehabilitation” of prisons and the continuing madness of doing things as a means to an end without heart ♥, without compassion, without kindness. When will our selfishness and sense of self righteousness end?
Today I read an article written by Mark Haddon in 2008 in the Guardian.
Photo is of Miriam, who fled from Ethiopia, talking to Mark Haddon at the Migrants Resource Centre in west London. Photograph: Sophia Evans Sophia Evans/Sophia Evans
Here’s an excerpt of what he had say in 2008:
We bellyache about the abuse of human rights overseas. But there are thousands of people living here, right now, in one of the richest countries in the world, forced to live in poverty. They are denied basic rights and services which the rest of us take for granted. And this is not an accident. This is government policy. And we should be ashamed of it. Imagine what it must be like to live this kind of life, to leave everything behind, your job, your family, your home. To travel to Stuttgart in the back of a truck. Or Oslo. Or Rotterdam. Any place where you don’t speak the language. You have no friends. You sleep in the street, or share a house with strangers who speak yet another language. Imagine living on £35 of Asda vouchers a week. Imagine not being able to see your family. Then ask yourself what kind of experience would make this kind of life preferable to going home?
It is now 2015. Seven years have now passed and are we closer to living more harmoniously with each other? Are we removing our blinkers and seeing each other and the world 🌍 in which we live as we should? Or are we continuing to mess things up, create more despair, do more wrong, cause more pain and concentrate solely on our own gains and what makes us comfortable?
I hope you don’t but next time if you happen to see a van or a poster that says “go home you bloody foreigners”, I urge you to reflect that we are all connected and harm done to one affects us all, collectively.
Many of us are looking for our home, a sense of belonging, a little peace and to feel safe again. It’s not much to ask but it does seem to be that way.
So if you are voting soon ❎ please spare a thought about the plight of many of our fellow human beings who suffer, mostly quietly, and do what you can to make things better.