I lie here, after 1am, haunted by the heartbreaking images of a little boy on a beach. A little boy not much older than my own. I sat in my little boy’s bedroom tonight and thought of that other little boy. A life lost; an unfathomable waste. A tragedy.
Yet it took such an image for a people to rise and a government to act. We saw scenes of anger, crowds of campers, even heard the stories. But this photograph has changed everything. Finally our government, who just the day before had said they were confident they were acting according to the view of the people in closing our gates, have realised the passion of a people keen to help. To open their communities and give their time, money and possessions to people who simply want to be safe.
It would be arrogant and unrealistic to presume that everyone wants to welcome these lost people. There are some who are strongly opposed to such action. There are others who just don’t know. Views change from person to person – it’s the discussions that help us to grow and learn.
But one challenge remains that lies on my heart. How different would this world be if we walked a mile in someone else’s shoes? For the Politicians and the Leaders; for the dissenters and the unsure; even for the protectors and the campaigners, I offer shoes. Put on the shoes of a scared, lost, frightened person looking for hope and see how they fit.
Social media, newspapers, and the Internet are awash with witty and thought-provoking images. But none so powerful as one picture of one little boy. Lost forever.
Put on their shoes. Walk for one day in them.
Now, how will you act?