Everyday we follow distressing updates in the news from different parts of our world. From the refugee crisis caused by the war in Syria and in other countries, to the effect laws passed are having on certain minority demographics in various parts of the world.
A common denominator observed is the fact that the few examples highlighted are man-made issues, and people are suffering as a result in one way or the other.
I believe that the frequency at which we see such news can desensitise people to the reality of the pain others are facing, and is something we need to be careful not to develop.
This is why when other media outlets such as TV shows and movies, etc incorporate current developments or key issues into their story lines, I cannot help but commend the ingenuity. Why? because not every one watches or reads the news, and it’s another way to enlighten people rather than the traditional means they may be accustomed to.
For example, US TV shows such as Homeland and Greys Anatomy, have more recently used their platforms to shine a light on the US prison system. Both showed different sides to people’s sufferings – from wrongful arrests, the poor representation people receive when arrested, to the deplorable, inhumane conditions in which they live in, in those establishments.
After watching, I did my research and realised that the conditions, which I thought were so deplorable and inhumane, were conditions still being experienced in first world countries, and that the shows had actually (to an extent) downplayed the reality of such situations for TV purposes.
How much worse could the conditions of prisons, detention centres, charities etc be in third world or developing countries?
Whilst it’s okay to watch the news and be informed, we really need to do our research and then consider, “what AM I going to do to counter or mitigate the outcome for those affected?” or “WHO am I connected to that can help?”
If you work in a profession where you can be of professional assistance to people in unfortunate circumstances, volunteer your skills for their cause. I’m sure every profession can contribute their expertise in some way. *Calling all lawyers, politicians, medical personnel, social workers, chefs, caterers, architects, media etc.
Let’s stop leaving it to the “Red Cross” and other vague parties to step up and do the most for our communities. Regardless of where you may be in the world, when you watch the news or get enlightened about issues in your community, if you are able or know others who are able to help, then get involved.
- Lawyers can represent people affected by such laws or developments, including people wrongfully incarcerated; challenge the legality of such policies, laws etc
- Doctors and other medical professionals can attend to those with health challenges within such communities
- Journalist, producers, media personalities, etc can shine a light on problems that need to be addressed as well as air efforts being made to tackle it.
- Chefs and caterers can provide decent meals
- Architects and engineers can help improve centres or its design
If you feel that your profession would not be of much help, or that you may not be connected to anyone who could help, then you can consider the following:
- Contributing to food banks, charities or preparing meals for displaced persons who are homeless in your neighbourhood or other victims
- Donate clothing, warm clothing, blankets, etc to homeless people, shelters, charities, etc especially if you are in a part of the world that experiences winter as one of your seasons.
- Donate other basic supplies like baby diapers, baby food, female sanitary products, vitamins, etc
- Write to your local leaders
- Join rallies
- Spread awareness on your social media platforms
- Volunteer at aid centres
There’s a whole lot that we individually can contribute towards that would be a blessing to others.
Get informed | Get enlightened | Get involved