Friday, 4 September 2015

War and how it (doesn't) affect me.

I think it touched a nerve with all of us. My kids are a different time, a different situation that might have been my little boys.
War never changes, but we need to do more to help. I'm not saying swing the doors open and invite everyone in, but if you were fleeing from war with your tiny people scared for your lives, desperate about the future. Would you want the rest of the world to turn it's back on you and say, 'no thanks, you don't deserve our help, we're all full from helping ourselves today so sort it out yourself. It's your fault for being a resident of a country at war, your fault for being born there. Don't come here, go away. Don't let your problems touch me.
I once played Zlata in a rendition of Zlata's diary. Reading her diary and the things happening in her country and studying the history of it and having to act out her life was jarring, horrible and heartbreaking. It wasn't a story or a make believe. It was her actual LIFE. Much like Anne Frank she didnt write a book to be a good story (which is how it can seem as a child). She wrote it as an account of what she was going through day by day. They were living through war.
We were at war once, but we've never been invaded. We've never had our homes ransacked, our families murdered, gun shots fired and battles fought in our streets. We lack the true sympathy and understanding of what they are going through. We get bombarded by images on the tv of war and violence and just shrug it off, turn the channel over, that's what its like sometimes, it happens all the time everywhere else, but here. We see it on movies and it's all make believe so sometimes the real world images can pass us by unnoticed. But to actually live that war torn life. I can't empathise, I can't pretend to empathise. Not fully, not truly because I don't understand what it's like, I haven't got the faintest inkling of what it feels like to run for your life and I don't believe you can understand unless you live it. But we are all capable of compassion and the pity seen in that man's face as he carried that tiny toddler boy away from the shore is being shared by many.
The thing I do understand about it all is that if I was so frightened and desperate to protect my children and take them away from a terrible situation, as any parent in this world would feel. That I would have gotten on that boat, and those could have been my little boys.
We are judged on how we care for the smallest and weakest members of our society. We can't stop war, but we can change it's outcome and the future of the survivors.