September 2, 2015

The World is a Mess: What are We Going to Do About it?

"Syrian Refugee," Bengin Ahmad, Flickr

Harrowing images have spread across social media today of the lifeless body of a young Syrian boy, washed up on a beach in Turkey.

This is not a one-off. Every day, Syrian refugees are losing their lives in their flight from their homeland. This is what the world has come to.

And I know there is still much beauty and love to be celebrated. And I do try to focus on that and share examples of it as much as possible. But some days it’s hard not to despair.

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” ~ Paul Farmer

The cheek of us, as a species, to claim superiority over the animal kingdom when this is how we treat our own.

Because the refugees of Syria—and all other downtrodden citizens of the world—are our own people. We are all one.

Any other perspective is the product of faulty thinking, born of ignorance and fear.

How can we sit back, ignore or turn a blind eye to this suffering? How can we excuse our lack of compassion by calling the flight of refugees economic opportunism?

There but for the grace of God, Buddha, Allah, or whatever higher power we honor, goes each and every one of us. The fate of the Syrian people could befall each of us—how would you expect the world to respond if that happened?

For the love of all that is good in the human race, let us do unto others what we would have done unto us. Let us show love and compassion. Let us put aside fear. Let us respond to the needs of those who desperately need our help.

What can you do?

Do something!

Lobby your politicians. Sign the online petitions. Organize a peaceful march or a candlelight vigil.

Don’t sit on your hands and expect the leadership to come from above. Stamp your feet and demand a compassionate response! There is power in the grassroots, when they care enough to make their voices heard.

And pray or meditate.

Studies have shown that if 1% of a population practices meditation, it has a harmonious effect on the collective consciousness, resulting in significant drops in crime rates. That is an effect we need to harness now, on a global scale.

So, instead of tutting from the sidelines, if you do nothing else, then do that. Extend love and compassion energetically, while also demanding practical support from our leaders.

Imagine that child on the beach could be your own flesh and blood. And then respond from that place.



Refugee Relief: Firsthand Accounts of Shipwrecked Migrants in the Mediterranean.


Author: Hilda Carroll

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Photo: Oğuzhan Ali/Flickr 

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