Last week was a difficult week for me. There was seven days in which I felt I was on a see-saw of emotion. There was so much to be glad about, sad about, angry about, to feel hopeless about.
At the beginning of the week I saw pictures of babies I will never be able to unsee, victims of a war not of their making, and for which they are suffering terribly. The next day I celebrated with mixed emotions the twenty seven year triumph over the establishment for the Hillsborough families. Watching the live coverage at the inquest when at last the world was told what many of us always knew to be true. I ended the week in a fruitless and frustrating meeting the outcome of which we are still uncertain, but quietly hopeful.
Yesterday the rain battered down in my home town, people who were soaked to the skin came into the shop smiling, ‘it’s only rain’, they said, these are our volunteers, they had stood in a downpour hoping for the sun to shine, they had rattled a tin and sold everything they could to a damp and lacklustre crowd at the Spring Fair. I as watched them uncomplaining, sorting dry clothes to get changed into from the donation boxes, ill fitting clothes, this will do clothes, promising to return them washed, there was a weird connection between what we are trying to do and the people out there across Europe also in the rain. I hope those people know how much we care and want to help.
Earlier in the week I watched on television the people of Liverpool standing together to honour the families of those lost forever, the pride in my heart was tinged with sadness at the waste of so many potentially happy days. I saw brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, each had their own lives changed forever the day their loved one lost their own life. There are parallels to be found. Each life lessened by the governments of the day, blamed and shamed, as each time those really responsible quietly retired to lives on the golf course. The media also played it’s part. In a bad way the agenda set by the tabloids of the day and perpetuated ever more. In a good way when through drama and through decent journalism the struggle lived on in peoples minds. Always, right through the constant love for lose lost, shown loud and clear by the family that never gave up
There are lessons in both of the above that will stand me well in my world. The relativity of suffering, the awareness that one persons tragedy could be another persons prayer. That those living an alien life, perhaps in a tent, in the rain, trying to manage their family to care for the babies, remembering fondly the life that was theirs before war came. It could be that, these people are not much different to the families in Liverpool, who knew that the very people who should be protecting them were actually guilty all along.
This tells me that the world is seldom as you first see it. You must look with eyes beyond what is in front of you. Listen to the narrator, who is telling this story, and why are they telling it to you? Read between the lines, turn over the page, make sure what you believe to be true is not in fact a pillar of lies built to hide a different truth.
Trust your instincts, reach out to help and above everything do not be afraid. Say your truth loudly and often. Sometimes it is the silence of others that belies the battle where you think your words are lost and unheard, that maybe the moment that changes everything.
All we can do is our best. All we can try is our hardest. We have to hope that one day it will have been enough.