This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies
And lads and girls;
Was laughter and ability and sighing,
And frocks and curls;
This passive place a summer’s nimble mansion,
Where bloom and bees
Fulfilled their oriental circuit,
Then ceased like these.
This poem best expresses my thoughts on the sight of the lifeless little boy washed up on a Turkish beach not to mention the thousands of other refugees who have suffered the same fate. At some point in their lives there was love, laughter, friends, happiness and dreams of the future but it has come to an ill-fated end. We have become desensitised to their plight through the TV screens, forgetting they are human beings no different from us.
We can only imagine what a mother and father are seeing and experiencing for them to conclude that such a torturous journey is the best option for their family. It struck a chord with me because I recognised that the difference between me, that little boy and all the others lost is nothing except luck. As an immigrant, I took a look at the key pillars that managed to bring me here (England) and they were completely out of my control, it was just luck. It was luck that the war in my country ended 7 years before I was born, it was luck my parents were not poor, it was luck to be sent to a respectable school, it was luck that my sister could fly me over here and pay for my university education and luck that someone gave me a chance to start a life here. Despite my own individual efforts and actions the foundations were placed through divine action and, most importantly, other people’s love and understanding. No personal virtues control us being born in peace, privileged and fortunate so let us remember that those who need our help didn’t choose the absence of them
No one willingly chooses to face starvation, barbed fences, tear gas, the cold sea, victimisation and the prospect of losing their lives, let alone that of a child. We shouldn’t let media or shrewd individuals teach us that those who differ from us threaten our liberty, homes and jobs. We need to remember that they seek so as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in peace and with purpose. We have to look at the privileges we protect as our own when drawing borders and remember many of us are descendants of immigrants. The gates could have easily been closed too, on our forefathers and we could have been born in very different circumstances.