Writing

You Can’t Please Everyone, and Shouldn’t Bother Trying #SaveSyriasChildren

It could have been us - MUMMY TRIESOn Thursday I, along with the rest of the world, saw a harrowing photo – it had me rooted to the spot, lost for words, with tears streaming down my face feeling appalled at the crappy world we live in. A world where babies are drowning, because their families are fleeing their homes to desperately seek refuge elsewhere. My stance on Syria pretty quickly changed from apathy to outrage. I felt compelled to do something, anything, so I joined forces with over a hundred other bloggers to try and make a difference. 

We wrote posts highlighting the need to help with details of how. We updated our social media statuses for the cause. Some of us took photos like the one above and changed our profile photos to show it – the photos are of our own children holding a sign saying ‘it could have been me/us’.

Except it couldn’t have been our children could it?

Our children live in the UK, and have nice warm homes and food in their bellies. Our children aren’t fleeing a war torn hell hole, where their parents would rather get on boat or run the fucking Euro Tunnel to take their chances of seeking refuge. Our children would never end up washed up on a beach plastered all over the news, because we have the utter privilege of being able to keep them safe at all times.

Of course it couldn’t have been our children in the literal sense, but the point of the photos was to highlight the stark similarities between our own children and those that are dying every single day. Not just Aylan Kurdi and his brother Galip, but the many that are the tragic casualties of this horrific war. It’s a shame that it took for their story to be made public for the world to stand up and take notice, but at least it’s happened.

Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone in life, and today has been a prime example of that. While most of social media responded positively to our efforts of raising awareness and funds for the amazing work Save The Children are doing, there was also negativity.

There was ignorance of the ugliest kind, where people resorted to tired right wing mantras. Such as;

“why should we take them when we don’t have to?”

“they should F*** off back to their own country”

“you should be raising funds for British charities, not sending money to foreigners”

Well no, we don’t have to do anything, but if your conscience can allow you to turn a blind eye and have this opinion, then you have lost your soul as far as I’m concerned. In terms of going back to their own country, do you honestly think they would have risked the lives of their children in such a desperate way if going back was an option?  

Open your eyes people, and look at the bigger picture.

I don’t really talk about my family on here, just the fact that I am estranged from them. It’s days like today that reminds me why I made the decision I did.

When Live Aid was first broadcast in the eighties, my parents were outraged. This continued every time Comic Relief was on the TV. I heard ignorant comments throughout my childhood about how awful it was to be helping refugees in Africa, because charity should start at home. Blah blah blah blah blah… you can call me a bleeding heart liberal if you like, but I always felt this was wrong. Even at eight years of age.

I learnt long ago that you can’t please everyone, and shouldn’t bother trying. I learnt to rise above the haters and not give them airtime. Today I chose to tune out to the ignorant negativity, but I’d be lying to say it doesn’t upset me that some folk truly feel like this. That they can close their eyes and pretend babies aren’t dying, or worse, say they couldn’t give a shit.

Just in case you do want to help

There are incredible things going on all over the country, which has restored my faith in humanity these past couple of days.

People have opened their homes to be used as storage facilities and are collecting supplies to take directly to Calais, such as this wonderful Brixton woman.

Men, women and children will be marching through London on the 12th September to tell parliament that the Syrian Refugees are welcome here.

Save The Children and other worthy charities are raising funds to make a difference where it’s needed the most.

The blogging community have come together to show how much they care, and want to make a difference.

To close my eyes and pretend this happening just isn’t an option for me. Is it for you?

Whatever you do, please don’t turn a blind eye. 

Do something to help.

Anything.

Whatever you decide, don’t chose apathy.

#SaveSyriasChildren

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mummytries

Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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22 Comments

  1. It’s awful isn’t it! I could hardly believe what I was hearing last week on the high street, shocking really.

  2. It was a mixed bag of a week, wasn’t it hon. So much awareness raised, and good deeds done on the one hand, but so much ugliness raising its head on the other 🙁

  3. So well said Renee – some of the negative comments I have seen on social media over the last few days have made me angry. There will always be people though who disagree with what others are doing to try and make a difference, or the way in which they are doing it. I found it encouraging to see social media being used in such a positive way to help try and raise awareness and empathy for the Syrian refugees. As you say though, you can’t please everyone though and you shouldn’t bother trying.

  4. Well done for writing this. It’s such a shame to see and hear all the ugly comments coming out of yet another time in our lives when people need our help not our cold shoulders.

  5. Really isn’t worth it Tim! I think we should devise a campaign to convince people that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if they don’t have something nice to say to keep it to themselves 🙂

  6. It amazes me how critical people can be of others trying to do some good sometimes. While some right-wing commenters were willing to debate respectfully, a number weren’t and quickly adopted a holier-than-thou “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitude. In fairness, you get that on both sides but regardless of how much you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, there’s a way to do so respectfully without making it personal. Sadly a few people seem to prefer to criticise without ever taking action themselves. or to openly insult others and then cry wolf at the first hint of criticism coming back the other way. Oh well. You can’t convince such people, and it’s not really worth wasting the effort of trying.

  7. That’s the irony Tas! I witnessed second generation migrants being shouted at to ‘F off back to their own country’ the other day. Sad sad times 🙁

  8. Thank you so much for dropping by Annie! Absolutely loved that article and have just shared it 🙂

  9. Lovely post – I feel the same. How can you not empathise, feel compassion and find it so unbearable. I watched live aid and called my school friends to give money! not that I think it made any difference. I saw today someone posted on my timeline a photo of a homeless person saying we should sort out our own problems before letting in refugees. Find this mindset really small minded. Are these people actually doing anything about homeless people in the UK? No. Can the government do something about them, yes, they choose not to. We can do both. We have so much money in this country, then someone posted this on my timeline… v true! http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/we-need-to-look-after-our-own-first-say-people-who-would-never-help-anyone-20150907101741

  10. It’s awful some of the comments out there isn’t it? And I bet some originate from people who have immigrant ancestors and they probably don’t even realise.

  11. What a heartfelt post. I agree with everything you say. It can only be ignorance that makes some people haters and sadly for them they will probably never change their entrenched views. They do not seem to or even want to understand the plight of the refugees. It is good to know that there are also plenty of people with compassion who have shown what can be done to help this appalling crisis. Your title is spot on.

  12. I too am tired of reading or hearing such ignorant, heartless comments every time the refugee crisis is brought up. The overwhelming response from people throughout Europe to help in this crisis in recent weeks has been truly inspirational and also restored my faith in humanity.

  13. This is a brilliant, honest blog post Renee. It probably won’t make the haters take notice, purely because they are that entrenched in their own ignorance that nothing will shake that. But that’s their issue and you can be proud that you are taking action! Jenny x

  14. Great post, it’s been so depressing hearing all the negative voices over the last few weeks, but now with the upswell of support for the refugees, it feels like maybe we are living in a sane world after all.
    I hope some good schemes get sorted out for the refugees we are going to take – housing, work etc. Many women and children are still in camps in Turkey, as it is just not possible for them to get to England or Germany. Can you imagine crossing Europe with small children in tow? Here is a link to a short video about these women’s lives. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/23/syrian-refugee-women-documentary_n_7638290.html
    Our government needs to look to those countries to follow their examples – not just take them in and then disperse them around with no plan and say afterwards “I told you it wouldn’t work”. If Turkey can look after so many refugees, with proper camps and schemes (albeit struggling with numbers) we should be able to as well.

  15. If a campaign is worth participating in, getting trolled and being criticised is part of the package. To my amazement I only received the one negative comment on twitter, matched by a Syrian woman tweeting me thanking me for participating in the campaign. It’s a matter of personal conscience and I was proud to take part and equally proud to take the abuse.

  16. A poignant, heartfelt post, Reneé! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much anger in your writing, and quite rightly so. When the 2nd world war was tearing my birthplace apart, my great grandmother had to flee with her young children. They had to leave everything behind, hide in the woods, eat rats and find refuge in another area, where they knew nobody. It took years before they could rebuild their homes, go back to school, start living lives again after burying their friends, family members, children. So it could not have been us? Well it could… And it didn’t happen that long ago. Ignorance is infuriating…

  17. Jules says:

    Ren, I’m so glad you are in a position to inform/ communicate on a wider-basis than most. and that you are making the most of this opportunity. Can only thank you for that.
    Information is the thing that has been missing from this, from our own media – with their decision to not inform us of the reasons people want to come here. We are told about people coming to use our resources – economic migrants that can only be a threat.
    Perhaps this is also a turning point where we know we cannot trust mainstream media to deliver the message of humanity.
    We also both know from our own experience, that there are some horrible people – but we also know to not let them destroy or diminish the good there is in the world and we must do our best, despite this to do the very best we can and be the best we can be.
    You will see the enormous amount of goodwill and positive action there is now, towards the people who need our help in these desperate times.

    As always, keep shining …. and keep blogging…. xxxx
    Jules

  18. Well said Renee, there will always be haters and those slurting the line that chary starts at home but each of us does what we feel called to do and thankfully we feel called to reach out and love all people. Mich x

  19. I have seen a lot of comments similar to the ones you’ve quoted in your post and it’s made me feel rather sad. I bet that should the same thing ever happen here, however unlikely people think, everyone would do the same and quite happily flee to a safer place and would want to be welcomed. Many people also don’t seem to realise the difference between refugees and immigrants; refugees HAVE to leave to get to a place of safety whether because they are being persecuted or because of war, immigrants CHOOSE to leave to pursue a different life.

  20. I had planned to go to Calais and give the people there some stuff about a month ago during our recent trip to France. I thought there would be lots of women and children there and was thinking kids stuff, women clothes and toiletries. It turned out there wasn’t that many women or children there compared to men and they didn’t have any room to store anything that wasn’t in priority need. The stuff they needed wasn’t what we could fit in our car, or get access to over there. (at the time men’s winter gear, pallets, ropes, tents ). If you are thinking of sending stuff over a group who have been there since the beginning are https://www.facebook.com/groups/CalaisMigrantSolidarityActionFromUK/?fref=ts

    We left from Dunkirk and on the way down to the port, in the middle of vast wasteland there were a few men just standing there with nothing, I have no idea what they were doing and was a very poignant image that has stuck in my head. On my return, I have signed up to do the Bath Half Marathon raising money for Doctors of the World Calais appeal. They are one of the main charities helping out down there. You can sponsor me here if you want.

    http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=supermumandotherdisguises

  21. Some people just wallow in their own worlds ignorant to the plight of others; it’s usually due to them not knowing enough or being too stupid to understand more than the bleeding obvious. The only cynicism that I have about fundraising is that it we have no guarantee the money will achieve what the organisations claim, purely due to political and security constraints, but it shouldn’t stop you trying.

  22. I too have heard a lot of nasty comments about this and fee very sad that people are so hateful towards other cultures/religions/races. There is a real problem and something must be done and these children are innocent. It does not matter where they are, we need to protect children around the world! If I was asked, I would open up my home to help a family out! Its a shame we don’t have a spare room. I enjoyed reading your post!

    Angela from daysinbed.com

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