Hannah is poorly, so today we stay at home and keep warm and have cuddles. I try to coax her to have her medicine. I try and distract her when she’s self-harming. I pat her back when she can’t clear her throat and attempt to soothe her. I sit and watch her whilst she’s playing in the bath and we play with her toys and I smile when she laughs a little. I rub cream on her hands to try and soften the places she’s bitten where they’re now marked and beginning to scar. We play a little. We eat a little. I watch her whilst she’s napping peacefully, nestled against me on the sofa. We take the day as it comes…and I hope to see a glimmer of improvement, rather than a deterioration, in her health.
We’re in our own little bubble. We’re cocooned, we’re safe.
I switch on the TV and see the news.
I see catastrophe. I see people of different ages, colour and creed; I hear innocent people killed and maimed in Brussels. I see blood and disarray and carnage. I see people running and hear children screaming, traumatised. People just going about their business – all soft targets – people going to work or waving goodbye to each other at the airport and the train station and then, in a split second, life is changed and things won’t ever be the same again. They had no warning that those goodbyes weren’t just for a few days, they would be forever. Hearts are broken into a million pieces. Dreams are shattered. Parents lose their children, people lose their loved ones and friends and colleagues are no longer on the end of a text or email. Many people’s lives are destroyed, hundreds upon thousands also affected now. Scars, both physical and emotional, may never heal completely. The death toll will undoubtedly rise.
I don’t want to continue to hear of any of this; of people – innocent human beings – murdered and maimed and raped and tortured. People displaced by warfare. Sexual predators grooming children and families. Children dying. I don’t want to see greedy, power hungry governments, including our own, denying the vulnerable and feeding the elite. I don’t want to hear of innocent people who, devout in their faith and religious beliefs, are attacked or murdered, simply for having a different skin colour or clothes or culture or language, than their attacker. I don’t want to hear of another Imam, devoted for a lifetime to his family and community, being murdered in a children’s playground. We see the photos and news coverage worldwide – innocent children and their teacher murdered in Dunblane, 9/11, 7/7, Paris, Verviers, Brussels, Glasgow airport, Kosovo, the IRA bombings in Ireland, Manchester and Warrington. The traumas of Syria, Somalia, Iraq, the bombings in Mumbai. We hear of children and adults attacked and murdered randomly or by family members, we read the stories of modern slavery or the depravities of the West’s and Sutcliffe’s and Brady’s of the world. I read of elderly, lonely people mugged on the street or beaten in their own homes and people with disabilities and additional needs harassed and attacked, victims of hate crimes, and so the list goes on and on and on.
Every millisecond, someone or some living being, somewhere across the world is suffering or dying, their plights man-made and completely preventable.
Surely, isn’t it enough that many people’s lives are often immersed in constant pain and suffering through natural causes? Through no fault of their own?
Lives are lost or changed forever through environmental disasters, fire, flood, illnesses, emotional ill health, viruses, cancers, accidents, disability, genetic disorders…the list is, again, endless.
Thankfully, we look and see the heroes throughout these disasters and incidents. The people that care and support, the selfless people that put their own lives at risk…and they’re out there in their masses, we don’t need to look closely to see them. But sadly, the perpetrators, the minority, the covert nefarious ones who slink underground in their fetid hiding places until it’s time to emerge and wreak their havoc upon others, often receive the most media coverage.
It makes me so overwhelmingly sad to see what we’re doing to each other.
And for what end?
To have our 15 minutes of fame?
Or because people are so depraved they need to take something from someone else to meet their own needs or feed their own addictions, their own fantasies and depravities.
I doubt, very much, that any of this is Gods will.
But poor God, no matter what name he’s given, seems to get the blame for a lot of things these days.
Today, I’m thankful that Hannah and I are in our bubble. I’m ok with the fact that, because of her disabilities, I don’t have to shield her from what I see on the television or explain what’s gone on today or on all the other dark days and that she’s oblivious to what people do to each other.
Actually, I hope she continues to remain unaware.
How nice would it be to see humility, solidarity, freedom, democracy, empathy, tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, kindness, love? How wonderful would life be if humanity didn’t feel they had to talk about uniting against inhumanity because there actually was no evil in the world?.
Because isn’t life hard enough…without adding to it?
If Hannah had the capacity to understand, I’d show and teach her – just like my parents did with me – to accept everyone, despite their differences. That no matter what colour of skin someone has, their abilities, their language, their sexuality, their gender, their religious beliefs or whatever, we CAN all live together…if we want to.
I doubt I’ll ever see it, but I hope, one day, we all find peace.
This post is dedicated to the victims.