Twice yesterday I was hit by how incredibly comfortable my life is.
The first time was when I watched one of those ‘one second a day’ videos. This one is different to any I have seen before though. It shows the devastating impact the encroaching evil of war has on a little girl. The unique perspective on the whole thing is that the little girl is British and war has come to the streets of Britain. I think it would have spread like wildfire on social media if it wasn’t for just how terrible the reality is – there are little girls like our daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters, goddaughters, neighbours etc. who are caught up in the brutality of war and, for the vast majority of us, we probably don’t really care because they’re on a different continent and maybe because they have a different colour skin.
The second time was when I turned out the light last night after reading some more of The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. I’d just read a section that describes the utter mundane, terrifying, lonely and dehumanising existence of someone living on a mental health ward. As I lay there in the dark I realised there were thousands of people all over the country experiencing that terrible existence right now – stigmatised by society, maybe abandoned by family and friends, controlled by medication, institutionalised. Lying in the dark. And again, we don’t truly care that much because it is such an unreality to us. There will be someone living with the terror and hopelessness of mental illness probably within 50metres of where you live, yet we don’t see it, and it passes us by.