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  • Writer's picturejodieharburt

Blame, Guilt, Responsibility.


We had a tough time of it, it was all in the news so I won't repeat it, but lets suffice to say that a lot of people I know left this country, people are migrating. There was a moment when I considered leaving too, but then the reality of how this and many other countries have gotten into a muddle came to mind and I found myself blurting out "I'd rather die here than live among the self righteous hypocrisy of my birth country!" Our countries perpetrate the horrors of the world and we want to take refuge there!?

Just months ago Greenspan (ex Chair of the US Federal Reserve) and Blair (ex British pm) both admitted that the Iraq war was initiated because of oil interests and that the excuse of weapons of mass destruction was known to be unsubstantiated. 1 million 200 thousand people died. 1,200,000.. what does that figure even mean. Try picturing that many dead people. Men, women and children. .. babies.. their bodies piled up, how tall would a pile of that many corpses be? How much would the stench resemble the stench of lies, greed and depravity? We can argue easily that the implications of this one war alone far exceed the limits of the state boundaries overflowing into Syria and the whole region. The horrific suicide bombs in world wide places take direct motivation from this and similar acts of mass destruction by predominantly the US, the UK and the other world powers. We can also argue that the despicable domination of the oil market causes further destruction by maintaining our reliance on fossil fuels, radically damaging the environment, suppressing the development of clean energy solutions and irrevocably effecting the climate which is known to cause the mass migration that the 'developed' world is erecting walls against.

"With great power comes great responsibility"* America, Britain, Europe, Russia and the entire developed world use this power upon all of humanity with complete neglect to their universal responsibility. Let's make a comparison and shrink it down to a domestic level; I have 3 children. I am in charge of their finances, they don't earn. I can dictate to them, I can manipulate them, I can abuse them and if they did not submit to my will I could take away their allowances and school fees, I could refuse to feed them or only give them unfit food. I could physically abuse my toddler. She is small and defenseless, if she does not amuse me or makes a mess I can hit her and bite her or refuse to feed her ever again. She is not useful to me and is a financial burden, I could ignore her totally. Of course I do none of these things, it's shocking to even contemplate, only a really sick, depraved, evil person could even consider such actions against children. I have the power, they are my minions, they are the future. I nurture them. I invest in them. They may or may not look after me in my old age, but if I treat them so badly they may not wait to neglect me in old age but actually try harm me now, they may try to defend themselves or each other. Even our own children can only take so much terror, unless of course they are completely broken. This is a horrific domestic scenario, but it is what the current world power system has done in creating such a tragically dysfunctional family. We didn't ask them to be in charge, to be such parents, but this is the abusive role they have taken. The thing is, we are still family. We can deny it as much as we like, but that black guy, that headscarf covered woman, that refugee child, that gay couple, the xenophobe, the baker, the banker.... all of us are virtually the same. We want so little in essence and it can be achieved, but only when we stop waiting for those with the power to wield it in a benevolent and responsible manner. It is only when each and every one of us realise that the power is actually ours. So too is the responsibility! We can change, educate ourselves, make choices, reject evil and passive acceptance. One by one we can become the power of unity. We can ensure that things change now. It is our right to totally reject a system that allows acts of mass destruction to be perpetrated by the great nation powers of this time. We need not waste time with blame and guilt or wait for someone to lead us.

We can find the justice seeker (NOT the revenge seeker!), the conscientious consumer, the thinker, the doer, the sharer, the maker, the healer, the listener, the truth, yes the Truth in every one of us. Such self revelation and if we can share it multilaterally could help end international plight and free us up to find solutions for all kinds of amazing things. I'm sorry that it's not a quick fix project, we all have to pull our weight, but the potential reward is survival of our species, so it's worth our best shot!

So do I want to move back to the UK?, yes sometimes I do, I miss my family and the terrain, but I won't go anywhere simply because there is 'better' than here. There is no such thing in this messed up world. If I did move back to my birth country because of the troubles elsewhere I'd feel like a pirate adorned in the silk torn from the backs of the pillaged, It might seem safer away from the mess of this region, but I'd still just be a bit further away here on this same earth. In England everything seems very calm, civilized and developed but there is a pervading sense of deep denial, willful ignorance and powerlessness. Everyone knows the truth but things just carry on. Let me make a scenario out of this too. Just like every person who eats Nutella and ignores the fact that palm oil is causing irreparable damage to habitats and people, I can deny the taste of dead orangutan smeared on my bread and I can hope that the revenge of those whose lives have been destroyed will not clog my arteries just as palm oil is inclined to do. While I indulge in my Nutella sandwich I can fool myself that this is my right, this is my luxury, that if I was to stop it would make a piss in the ocean amount of difference and then I'll watch the news with horror at how dumb countries are allowing deforestation. For now I will stay here, and get on with my life. I wonder at how I can assist people to stop blaming, stop fighting and stop judging and how we can all stop acting as the passive slaves of the power game. So where ever we are and where ever we go I believe it is our responsibility to Stop and Think and have Empathy for a while, and as stopping doing something is easier if we actually start doing something else, I suggest we all do. See Manifesto for One

*Quote from Spiderman

Photo credit: Faye Harburt

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