The world feels heavy at the moment. It’s January, yes: cold and gloomy. But it’s more than that, much more.
I’m finding the news very difficult to watch at the moment. Trump, naturally, features heavily. I want to laugh at the parody…then realise this is no parody. This sh*t is real.
A week in to the Trump Administration, and the President has issued an Executive Order banning people from certain countries from entering the US. This ban includes people with Green Cards returning to their families, homes, and jobs, as well as visitors and refugees.
The inspiration for the Executive Order comes from the desire to keep the US safe from terrorists. We all want to be safe from terrorists.
We all deserve to be and want to be safe. ALL. That is irrespective of where we live, the colour of our skin, the religion we practise. We cannot allow any fellow human beings to be scapegoated.
This is everyone’s problem.
Because we cannot forget what it is to be human.
What is being human?
To me, being human involves kindness, compassion, empathy. Trying to learn, to understand. To care.
We might think that as mere individuals we are unable to take action. That anything we, as citizens, can do is but a drop in the ocean. So why bother?
There is plenty we as individuals can do.
In order to act, we need to care.
Plenty of people do care, of course.
We all have our own troubles in our own backyards, and feeling that we cannot add more to our personal list is understandable. To a point.
We cannot stand by and say that we are bored of politics; or that Trump is in the US, so let them get on with it, which are two comments I have seen in response to social media posts this weekend. Or “…believe me I feel for those kids and women. I would never want to be in there (sic) shoes, but I honestly don’t want to invite them into my country either.”
We are all, of course, entitled to our own opinions – whether or not we agree with views that oppose ours.
But what we are not entitled to do is to shrug our shoulders over the suffering of other human beings. We are not entitled to say that due to an accident of birth, that is not our problem.
In order to act, we need to be aware of our power as individuals, and as citizens.
Show you care – support refugee causes, stand up against hate.
Stand together in solidarity with people of all religions – challenge hate wherever you are able. Challenge inertia and apathy, remind those who say the issue is not their problem that we are all humans.
Check out the #resist tag on Twitter for actions of people all across the world.
I am usually critical of ‘sofa social media warriors’ – that is, when people share a post on Facebook or copy and paste a status thinking they have done their bit for raising awareness or helping a cause.
People can feel helpless, not knowing what they can do for the best.
However, in this instance I wonder if we can harness the power of social media, the power of many to say this policy is not okay? Fill timelines with stories of the ordinary people affected by the order. Ordinary people who are just like you and me…they want a safe warm home for themselves and their families, the opportunity to earn an honest living….just perhaps they have a different skin colour, a different religion, or were born in a far-flung country.
Share stories of the people who are acting in all sorts of ways to challenge the order, and support those affected so we can be filled with hope, not despair…and perhaps inspired to act, in whatever small way.
The point is, we have to do something.
We have to say that as humans, this action is unacceptable.
We don’t have to have all the answers.
Just don’t stand by and say it’s not your problem.
Remember sitting in history, thinking “If I was alive then, I would’ve…”
You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would’ve done.
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) January 28, 2017