It’s been one of those weeks. You know, the really expensive ones that you didn’t see coming. On Monday, our washing machine broke – seems it can’t be fixed and we need a new machine. Two adults, three kids and two muddy dogs in a house with no washing facility.
Then, on Wednesday, the boiler went on the blink and we had no hot water (there is nothing so unfulfilling as a mildly tepid bath and a bath-bomb that just sits, fermenting on the bottom of the bath without a hint of fizz).
So, not only could we not wash our clothes; we couldn’t wash ourselves. Even having to have cold water to wash my hands was an irritant.
These things happen and we are fortunate that we can have them fixed or replaced, but it brings home the fact that you never realise or appreciate what (or who) you’ve got until it’s gone. You know; like when you get a cold and appreciate breathing.
So, there I was, a bit grumpy and inconvenienced and then something happened that made me snap out of it quicker than a cat having a (tepid) bath; I turned on the news.
If ever you need a big slap of reality, just look at the headlines, and then offer the other cheek and get repeatedly slapped by the horrific stories they are exposing. Beheading, bombs, splintered limbs, disease, landslides, abuse, neglect – utter misery. I used to turn down the radio in the car for some headlines, to protect my children from this ever-hideous world. Now I just turn it off altogether because all the headlines depict some tragedy or vile act of one human being toward another. Yet, as adults, we cannot ignore it; we must not. The abject horror and suffering many people have to endure is too hard to bear – but they must and so should we. People die in order to make the world aware (I was brought to tears by the statement from James Foley’s parents) and I feel it is our duty to sit up and take notice.
Change cannot come from ignorance, but from education and action. And hope.
In my last post I spoke about luck; how we can make our own luck, good and bad. I think I need to take that back. It IS luck; a genetic roulette that allowed me to be born in the UK rather than Gaza, that allows my kids to grow up in comfort and shelter rather than squalid refugee camps.
Next time I open my mouth to complain about some small misfortune that has befallen me, I will stop to think and close my safe, healthy, free mouth before remembering how bloody lucky I am.