In pondering the subject for this blog, I considered many subjects, but sitting here in the UK one issue refuses to leave my mind and I feel compelled to write about it here: the refugee crisis.
Few people will have escaped the harrowing scenes of overcrowded boats full of men, women and children making the perilous journey from the Middle East to Europe as they search for sanctuary and asylum. And, I’m sure many are aware of the moral, political and emotional wranglings amongst European leaders and the heated opinions of their citizens that are dominating social media.
It is an impassioned debate with much fear driven language of separation and difference, borders and barriers, while at the same time, many are deeply moved by refugee stories and feel compelled to take action – attending marches, signing petitions and in some cases driving car loads of supplies to temporary camps.
In her latest blog, Sandra Possing reminds us to lead with kindness. "Every day," she notes, "we’re surrounded by opportunities to practice kindness." This resonates profoundly for me today as I feel relatively useless in knowing what to offer other than sending messages of love, hope and empathy into the Universe and believing that as human beings we are all connected and equal. If we do not have the courage to help our fellow men and women who are escaping tyranny and persecution then what else is there? Now is the time to be kind and to be brave.
The future brings much uncertainty. Climate change will bring more refugees and much more displacement. It is a huge sustainability challenge but we do not have the luxury of arguing over who lives where and who has the greater right to water, shelter and food. We are one community surviving on one planet and home is a transient concept. Many things need reframing and much hope and spirit is required in our brave new world from those who call themselves leaders.