Not A Solution, But A Little Education

Following on from my post about those responsible for making decisions regarding this current worldwide social and economic system…..why am I talking about this right now? Well, a controversial policy was announced here in the UK recently, and there has been quite a reaction to it, notably from a member of the clergy. I noticed the media reported that the person who seems to have put their name to this controversial policy responded to criticisms by saying that those who are critical have no alternative solution.

Although, I think that it is pretty obvious that this house needs to be rebuilt from foundation up, rather than taking limited measures like replacing the carpets, or giving the place a quick dust over, I did think about this serious issue of often desperate and vulnerable people paying thousands of pounds for a place in an obviously unsafe boat that sets off to cross the Channel whilst huge ships cross their path. It is frightening and I understand that essentially the people who are in receipt of those thousands of pounds and providing those unsafe boats are wicked criminals.

But next to that issue, is the desperation of tens of thousands of people who have been willing to pay that price and take that risk in recent years. And then there is another issue that is also concerning – a lack of empathy from some individuals manifest in their lifestyle, social media activity and the ignorant things they say.

I have heard some remarks from people recently which caused me a great deal of concern. They were mainly younger people in their twenties and thirties. I am going to warn you now, you may feel as much disgust as I did with some of these. They said things like

  • I don’t know what all the fuss is about, Ukraine is Russia isn’t it?
  • after the Pandemic, the world needs a war to get us out of the financial mess we are in
  • there is no way I would volunteer to let a stranger come and live in my house – let alone from Eastern Europe
  • I don’t watch the news, it’s got nothing to do with me
  • who cares what is going on in in other parts of the world?
  • they can’t expect the UK to let loads of foreigners in, we can’t afford to take in refugees, the cost of living is getting higher

…and often these comments were made just minutes before or after the same people talked of their latest holiday, their new i-phone, the new dress they bought for their night out to “get hammered”.

So, not only did these remarks make me feel incensed…but they also caused me to think about a radical measure that may help with what somebody said in the media is a question of the “capacity” rather than the compassion that this country has to care for those who seek to come and live and work here due to fleeing a situation where they were in danger.

Why don’t we start an educational program specifically for those who don’t seem to have any concern, any empathy or compassion for the plight of others? Those who say things like the examples I gave above, we could assign them to spend a year perhaps in another land, thousands of miles away from England, and allow them to experience a way of life that might open their eyes to the way of life for billions of people on this planet. If we relocated those without compassion for a year or so, that would increase our capacity to accommodate some of those who come to this land in absolute desperation after fleeing a situation that may have literally terrorised them.

There is no reason why these individuals who have grown up in England or other Western lands should fear this educational relocation program. It is designed to enlighten them, enrich them with appreciation for the dignity and work ethics that billions display as they provide for their families and contribute to a warm community spirit. Yet, it may well be that those who have not lived in other lands may find it challenging to adjust at first. It will be good for them though.

After a year of experiencing the educational relocation program, perhaps these formerly brattish, entitled individuals will return to their homes with a heightened awareness of world conditions, an increased degree of compassion and appreciation and a deep respect for the billions that do not enjoy the luxuries that many in Western lands do, yet are incredible people with a huge amount to teach those of us who take for granted so much of what we have access to.

To increase our capacity further, we could also assign those who use social media in a completely inconsiderate manner to the educational relocation program. For example, those celebrities and individuals who fill their social media pages with images of their grossly expensive designer handbags, clothing, holidays to luxury destinations, their shiny cars…or other possessions and pleasure seeking experiences – without any thought for the many people who could see those images, and groan within themselves because they cannot afford to feed their family, or send their children to schools, and who feel as if their only hope for a better life is to leave their homes and travel to other lands, lands where sadly some people will discriminate against them or take advantage of them. Yes…why don’t we send those who boast about their possessions and the luxuries they enjoy to a land where they will not have any of the basic amenities that many of us take for granted.

The purpose of this radical notion is not a solution….indeed, even the suggestion of it will alarm many as it may seem draconian, or in violation of basic human rights. No, of course, there is unlikely to be an educational relocation program to increase both the levels of compassion and the capacity to care for others who are in anguish. But it is of concern that there are brattish, inconsiderate, unfeeling, selfish attitudes and behaviours out there, that make it especially uncomfortable when politicians propose what they think may be a solution to the issues connected with immigration and asylum seekers, but to others seems anything but a solution.

There are three issues that are all quite serious – one is that wicked criminals are profiting from desperate individuals willing to risk their lives for a place in an unsafe vessel to cross a busy and dangerous waterway. Another is capacity – in basic terms, if you owned a three bedroomed house (and remember, this house is one with a leaky roof, dry rot in the beams, broken windows, but it has recently had a lovely new carpet laid), how many tenants would you expect to enjoy a decent quality of life within that house? Yet, when we know that at least 120,000 (I am not up-to-date with the figures) volunteered empty bedrooms or properties to welcome refugees fleeing a violent conflict, we can see that we are still well within our capacity to welcome others. The other issue is attituded. Many people do have a great deal of empathy and compassion, and they are distressed at the plight of others. But it is concerning that there are others who seem to only be concerned with their own enjoyment of life and are happy to boast about their possessions and experiences in the public domain – although billions can only dream of such things.

Yes…it is a good job I am not “in charge” of making decisions on a national scale. But this world does need a very different kind of education in order to care for a house that is rebuilt from foundation up.