We should be fearful, but for others, not ourselves.

Men and Women, human beings the world over are living the good life; some are just surviving, and many, too many are struggling to stay alive. Hold that thought.

For those living the good-life, distractions, like those of other's suffering is often irrelevant, certainly not critical to their own life. We put it behind us as we go about our daily tasks with the eagerness to at least maintain the level of comfort we have achieved or preferably, to improve our lot further. We may give a bit to charity, which might make us feel better for a moment or two, but life goes on. 

Greed seems to be endemic in democracy.

We listen to our economic establishment constantly referencing the level of growth, the percentage gain etc. and politicians always with an eye on how much money is available to spend, and, not all, but mostly - deciding on what, with the aim to get themselves re-elected to power. A bit cynical - perhaps.

So growth is deemed as good, and decline is viewed as bad. Yet we live in a finite world where many resources are already running dry. And it is all very well thinking - "but not in my life-time" - but it will be eventually, if not us, our children's or grandchildren's - and then it will be too late.

So why do we want to go on growing when we know resources are limited? Which clever-dick decided that was the smart way to go? 

The pollution we cause? The Global Warming catastrophe? The possible extinction of species, as in the Elephant and so many species that it is not just frightening, but the number of species heading for extinction is far too numerous to mention here. See web-site - More recently, scientists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity concluded that: “Every day, up to 150 species are lost.” That could be as much as 10 percent a decade.

But what it really terribly shocking when you think about it - and unforgivable, is that we cannot even look after our own species in our own wealthy country.  

We have veteran soldiers, so screwed up by the wars we have sent them to fight on our behalf, they find it difficult, if not impossible to resettle; so they end up as criminals or sleeping rough on the streets. And we just stand by and let it happen.

We have refugees in Calais - embarking on the most hazardous trips rowing across the English Channel; one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, - and what is our response? To talk about these refugees as if they are criminals and refer to them in demeaning terms. As if these Human Beings are risking life and limb just to make mischieve or for the fun of it.

We have a similar situation in Lesbos in Greece; an island where many people have fled or ended up, escaping the brutal Syrian regime, again, risking life and limb making dangerous sea crossings. And what is our reaction? 

We incarcerate them and generally make life uncomfortable for them. Why on earth have we not divided the responsibility and shared the burden and given these people new homes and new hope? 

It speaks loudly and is disturbingly ironic that the wealthiest countries in the world are the ones who are most reluctant to come to the aid of some of the poorest people in the world. A further irony is that it is Mrs Merkal, Chancellor of Germany, in the EU who has done more than most to help so many of these refugees whilst many Far-Right Germans protest against her actions.

I have mentioned this before but was reminded again yesterday when walking across Liverpool Street Station in London. Two little statues are commemorating the "Kinder-transport Children". The British, who saved ten thousand, mostly Jewish children from over a dozen different cities in occupied Europe during 1938 and 39. Yet today, we, like the USA, have turned in on ourselves, and I fear we will suffer because of it.

There is, of course, the logic of the lifeboat that capsizes and sinks because too many people tried to clamber abord in order to save their lives; and consequently, all are drowned. But the UK is not a lifeboat, and we could easily help those in need.

I am afraid it is simply fear that holds us back from helping these desperate people. Politicians, even if they wanted to help, are fearful that voters will not give them power again if they do not stop migrants coming into our country. Many of our population do not want others coming to our country where they see them as a threat. They might take jobs or school places, homes or hospital places. Fear is what drives our negativity toward the needy. "I am alright, Jack" kind of attitude that brings us back to - Fear - "and I want to stay alright, and you might stop that from happening."

If only we could put ourselves in the position of the refugee: How would we want to be treated? 

Rick - Suffolk - 20-September - 2020

www.ricknotesfromengland.com



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