There will be no recipe here today, as these past ten days my mind has been elsewhere. Unless you have been living under the world’s largest rock (in which case how the hell are you reading my blog?!) there is very little chance you’ve not witnessed the devastating and heartbreaking photographs of Syrian refugees, telling their desperate, inhuman and unimaginable story that somehow, despite it’s severity, we seem to have overlooked or misunderstood. A reminder for some, but a true wake up call for many of us that we have spent far too long doing nothing. This unimaginable situation these very real people are facing unarguably requires action, and action from much more than just the powers known as government.
All of this mistreatment and oppression followed by unthinkable indifference we are leaving as inheritance to these babies if they even survive their escape out of hell, is happening as I sit here in my comfortable house with my two healthy well-fed babies asleep in their beds. I’ve spent the past two weeks feeling sick about just how far removed I have become to the lives of so many, how easy it is to be superficially “informed” and “involved”, without having to leave the comfort of the couch or do much of anything real at all. Crying in front of my computer, sharing a link, clicking a mouse to donate- all of these things are very easy to do, and very easy to move on from as well. It should be said there are lots of great organisations big and small doing something, and donating to them is not a worthless endeavor. But for me, it is time to actually DO something more than the couch-led support I’ve grown all too accustomed to and familiar with. Something real, something that involves more than a few minutes of my time and compassion, no matter how small that something may seem.
As someone who deals with things by cooking I have decided to do just that. It is such a small change that it feels indulgent writing about it, but I am hoping it will amount to something the longer I continue to practice it. And because it’s so manageable I hope that others who can, will consider doing it too.
We as a family will carry on with our weekly grocery shop as usual. But instead of running out mid-week when I realise we’ve forgotten x, y or z there will be no in-between shopping (baring a few exceptions like milk etc). Honestly, I doubt there will be much real discomfort when there’s no onion in our marinara sauce, or a banana-less smoothie. I’ll be encouraged to be creative, and we will make do with whatever we have on hand. The money saved from our weekly inaction however will be collected and at the end of each month it will be donated in the shape of non-perishable, real food to our local food bank.
It is not much, the extra five or ten quid spent thoughtlessly at the corner shop or Tesco express nearby. It is quite possibly the least we can do. But I am imagining the snowball effect of doing this for a month, a year, for as long as I am able. The food banks we could support, the people we could support, just with a bit of extra thought and intention. With the UK promising to take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years, the re-purposed funds will certainly be needed, not to mention the people who are already here, who need the support right now. The weekly non-shop will remind me that this is how I should be living. This is how I want to teach my children to live. It’s long past time to be involved.