So what can we do?
The world is shedding tears with you, precious boy
The image of little Omran, the beautiful boy sitting in an ambulance, shell-shocked and changed forever by the battle in Aleppo is burned into my consciousness.
As a mummy I can’t help but fight my instinct to look away as it is just too excruciating to be real. It’s hurting my heart that this war – and others like it – are tearing these lives apart in the most violent way I can bring myself to imagine.
I want to reach through the TV and scoop him up, shower him and all the children and families like his with love and tell them that we’re holding their hands and crying with them.
I want to help. I’m outraged that this is happening right now to innocent families, but I don’t know what’s best to do. Millions of us felt and said this exact same thing when three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body was photographed on the beach in Turkey.
But it is hard for us to comprehend when our lives could not be more different…and our natural human reaction is to protect ourselves from imagining this horror and try to shut it out. That’s unacceptable though.
These are children, their innocence gone – obliterated – forever. They have been robbed of that precious and irreplaceable beauty of childhood.
So, other than supporting the crisis appeals and expressing our outrage at the apparent global inaction which seems to border on indifference…what can we really do that will make a difference to this global crisis?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I keep coming back to one thing that I believe we can all do.
We can appreciate and love our own children and families even more than we already do. We can squeeze them harder, play one more minute of trains even though it’ll make us late and we’re already running behind. We can give them that one more cuddle that they’re desperate for to help them settle before we go to work. We can read them one more story, even though we’ve had a hell of a day and we’ve got a squillion jobs to do when they go to sleep.
We can’t change the war. But we can help to change the world a little bit with love. And we can raise children and adults who believe that love is the right way.
The world needs that more than ever.