Today I saw a photograph I cannot unsee. The photo of a small lifeless boy, three years old, lying face down on the shore of a beach, the waves lapping over his head. He, his brother aged five and his mother drowned when their boat overturned as they made a desperate bid for freedom from Syria and a safer life.
For weeks we here in Ireland have listened to the many news reports of the numbers who have drowned when over crowded boats sank. We listened but we didn’t hear. We tut tutted and sometimes we paused for a moment and wondered at how awful their plight was, right before we went back to living.
Until we saw that photo.
I felt compelled to write about it, to rage and to call for action. Then this morning I read a post which said all I wanted to say, and said it beautifully.
The post was written by ‘The Busy Mamas’. Here is a small snippet of her post titled so aptly,
Dilemmas Of Desperate Parents.
‘Should we pack up all we can carry and bring our children to an unknown – but hopefully safer, future?
Should we trust some bloke who says he’ll get us across the narrowest stretches of the Mediterranean in exchange for every penny we have and more?
Should we put our kids to sea in a raft that looks like it couldn’t stay afloat in a swimming pool?
Should we wake our children to continue on a journey to places they are barely wanted nor welcomed, as we go in search of a peaceful life?
Should I hold onto one chubby hand over another?
Should I save myself before reaching back for those I cannot live without?
Should we do all this knowing that if we don’t make it the world will not remember our forgotten babies?’
If you read nothing else today I urge you to read it here.
By our silence we are enabling this wrong to continue, we can no longer pretend we do not know, it’s time to speak up and demand Ireland does the right thing. These people need our help.
This little boy needed our help.
Photo via google images, Freedom House.
26 thoughts on “If you only read one thing online today…”
I saw the same picture. It was sickening and heartbreaking. I’m afraid I have very little time for people who bang on about immigration all the time as though refugees escaping war, famine or oppression are some kind of vermin.
Yes indeed. We Irish are all over the world for a reason and it’s not that we just wanted to travel. We used to be a very generous nation, but I’m embarrassed by how little we are doing.
We do all need to help Tric…
Yes Irene and to shout.
Sadly so many people do just as you mentioned. We blink an eye at the terrible circumstances of others and then turn around to focus on ourselves, forgetting all about them. It’s not until it impacts us personally that we start paying attention. But it should always effect us personally. These are fellow human beings. They deserve life, well-being and love. We should care for one another just as we care for our own family.
I agree. I just watched this little boys dad on TV it was heartbreaking. What life is there left for him with no home, no country and no family.
Just wrote a post inspired by recent events, this post and Linda’s post from today. Thought you might like to read it. https://mewhoami.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/limited-perception-of-the-world/
Thank you for posting that. I wholeheartedly agree. I understand others have their own opinions but I hope they are in the minority.
You’re welcome and I agree. Others may feel differently and that’s okay, as long as they still allow themselves to see enough to work toward change.
While I agree with all the comments, am I living in a bubble missing out on news bulletins where the leaders of nations globally are discussing how to stop people fleeing their homeland, bringing the leaders of these countries to buck – laying the blame at their door forcing their hand to put their house in order – just asking an out loud question.
I’m afraid the problem is the people are on the move and no nation alone can sort out the crisis. Personally I feel it is time to act first and talk later.
I’m embarrassed at how slow we have been as a nation when you see how many refugees Italy, Germany and France have taken in, especially as our navy boat has picked up so many and then what, left them for some other country to cope with.
I don’t think there is any hope of ‘talking’ to Syria’s powers that be, who uses chemical weapons on it’s own people.
it broke, and continues to break my heart. we all need to open our doors to help and our voices should not stop talking about this until they are helped.
It’s frustrating as collectively we can sort this. That small boys aunt is in Canada they were hoping to end up there. So many awful stories. I wonder will the US Canada and Australia take any?
i think they all should. i’ve not heard anything yet, but i am hopeful. everyone needs to help. we are truly one world.
I agree that this is sad and shameful that it is happening in the first place. While the leaders of the countries make their deals and promises and talk out of both sides of their mouth at the same time, thousands of human beings are at risk! How terrible their life must be. We see it on the news nightly the horrible things being done to innocent men, women and children. It is no wonder they desire to flee their homes in search of a better, safer life for them and their family, knowing that they may never make it across the sea in the rickety boat, but death would be better than the fate that waits for them if they stay.
Indeed Deb it’s dreadful. Hopefully we’ll get to show some of them Irish hospitality some time soon and in time enough help wordwide to ease their plight.
600 people. If you had two or three people going to every town in Ireland I’m assuming you’d cover a bigger number. The amount of people ringing Joe Duffy to offer help yesterday was brilliant, I did worry about the people who spoke of helping ‘until, of course, those people could get back home.’ I’m not sure that’s the voice of people who are fully willing to open their hearts to let people in. If they end up in Ireland full time and are set up and become part of Ireland sure what of it?
I agree. Thankfully I think people power are winning and the government are realising they must do so much more, that we expect them to do so much more.
I cried at work yesterday when I saw these cartoons . . .
I looked at them earlier today when you sent this link. Wow they are so powerful. So very sad.
I don’t even know what to say Tric. I am stunned. I remember when our church (as a child) sponsored Vietnamese families to come to America. I wonder if there are any doing this now????
I remember that as some of those ‘boat people’ came to my area in Ireland. I hope we are not waiting too long before the first of hopefully thousands make their way to Ireland.
Last night alone 6000 homes here pledged accomodation for refugees. Not bad for a small nation. That has put huge pressure on the government who have said they will greatly increase the numbers they were going to take in.
That’s six thousand examples of humanity we never hear about on the regular media. I’ll be honest Tric, there were 2 full days I was unable to watch news or even see a newspaper. It was your post that first told me about this. And I haven’t seen any of what you’re telling me now. Thank you Ireland, for again leading the way.
I don’t understand, Tric, how the world can look away from war and poverty that continues without end. Thanks for speaking up and sharing the desperate, mournful words of parents looking for a safe world for their children. Maybe someone somewhere will listen.
It’s such a tragic situation that the world has taken too long to respond too, but it’s never too late. We must act now…..
Tric, thanks for posting. My heart breaks for the plight of these people. The world must act.