If You Care, Don’t Just Think. Act. 

Syrian refugees arriving in Lesvos greece
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Disclaimer: I am going to be all over the place with today’s post. I’m not sure where I’m going with this or how to put into words the way I feel. All I know is I need to get my thoughts out of my head and on to,”paper”…There are also a few cuss words but I feel they are neccisary…Here I go.

I’m pretty sure everyone has one issue in this world that they feel extremely passionate about. Whether it’s world hunger, global warming, human trafficking, animal cruelty, veganism, health, veterans, domestic abuse, poverty, drug abuse, anything. You name it. I’ve always cared about these things but up until last year I had never felt real passion for any of them.

Last year, I saw a video on Facebook of Syrian refugees arriving on a boat in Lesvos, Greece. There were babies and elderly soaking wet and freezing cold. A father desperately trying to keep his child’s body from touching the icy water. A number of  people from that boat had fallen out on the way and drowned. They were all in tears. Then I saw pictures of a dead 2 year old boy washed up on the shores of Lesvos. And it shook me.

Syrian refugee father holding baby above the water
Syrian refugee toddler drowned trying to go to Greece
I had known about the war in Syria for a while but for some reason this really effected me.

This video and that picture drove me to immediately get off Facebook and go straight to google where I did extreme research on the Syrian refugee crisis. How it started, who the bad guys are, where they were running from, who they were running from, the path the refugees were taking, how they were being murdered and being robbed of what little they had by smugglers, where they go once they reach Greece…And how the whole world is turning them away.

Ever since this day, I feel I have developed this deep connection with these people. I have spent time out of my day, almost everyday, to learn more about them and where they are now. Every picture I see, every video I see, I feel my chest tighten and I feel their pain. I see it in their eyes. I hear it in their voices. I cry when they cry. I so desperately want to reach out and hold them.

When I saw the videos of the chemical attack Assad did to his own people, I got so angry. I saw grown men on the ground in the mud, gasping for air like fish out of water. I saw babies, my sons age, foaming from the mouth, I saw a father holding his dead babies so tightly after they suffocated to death. The same man who just minutes before had seen his mother, sister, brother and niece die only to go home to find his wife and children dead to.

Chemical attack in Syria
I cried. I couldn’t stop.

How could I be happy? How could I move on with my day when at that very moment there were hundreds of people holding their dead loved ones? How could I just go paint my chipped nails when there were people laying in beds with burning lungs? How can I not feel guilty for being born in a better place? I felt guilty every time I smiled. Every time I laughed…I feel so fucking guilty.

I’ve never thought life was fair or unfair, but this is not fair…why do these people deserve to suffer and are forced to live this life of murder, violence and hunger and on top of that, to feel like NO ONE in the world wants them?

How do people, capable of this, exist in the world? Who raised these people? Who turned these people, from innocent little children into mass murders? How? Why? How can you think this is ok no matter who you think you’re doing it for?

After I finally got myself away from looking at the news and the pictures I started scrolling though social media…where I saw people posting their vacations, outfits of the day, how terrible of a day someone was having because of how much traffic they were sitting in.

I got so mad all over again.

I thought, “I don’t want to see your pictures of you swimming on a beach with a coconut in your hand. Don’t you know what is going on in the world right this second? How can I care about what outfit you’re wearing? Do you really care about your outfit right now? Are you honestly complaining about traffic right now? Fucking traffic?”

After a couple of minutes of being mad at strangers I thought, “as much as I feel the need to stop my life for what’s happening to these people, doesn’t means everyone else does.”

What’s the right thing to do? Are we supposed to put our life’s on hold to grieve for them? Put down all social media and stay home? Or push through and continue to do the things we love no matter how little and pointless they may seem? Or pretend these things aren’t happening because it’s happening on the other side of the world and doesn’t affect us directly…

I don’t know the answer.

All I know is that I feel in my soul, in my heart, that there is something I am meant to do about this crisis. Whether it’s write about it or save the money to go to Turkey or Greece to look these people in the face and show them that I am there for them.

I want to leave what I love and take time out for them. I want them to know they are important to me. I want to show them love and kindness when they need it the most. I want to show them they are more important than the vacation I want to take next year. I want them to know they are more important than the comfort of my couch and Netflix. More important than a home cooked meal.

I want to take the time to go make them smile.

I want to act. Not think, or speak or write. I want to act…

I will. I am putting it out into the universe today. When I get home and start work. I am going to save the money to spend at least 2-3 weeks, wherever hands are needed the most, and I will show as many of them as I can all of the love that can come from one person.

I just want to encourage any of you. If there is something that you are so passionate about. Act. Stop thinking about it and feeling sad about it. Volunteer, donate money, donate clothes, stop eating meat, drive an electric car, sign petitions.

If you care, act

Syrian children Syrian refugees arriving in Lesvos, Greece

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