I belong to the privileged group of mothers that has the luxury to think about the rest of the world because her own family is safe and has enough to eat. I hope that you do as well.
I just returned from a two-week summer holiday in Cyprus and we had a wonderful time. Still, the last picture I have left in my head from our holiday is what I saw when I returned to the apartment after the check out. I saw two cars parked in front – one from the resort and a second one, behind it, that was old and branded with the name of some cleaning company. The second car driver was a lady in her late thirties speaking Russian on the phone. Behind her, walked hurriedly three women. For an European eye they looked Asian, they could have been Filipino, but I wouldn’t bet my money on it. One of the women was younger, highly pregnant and breathing heavily while holding her bump. The other two women who took the back seat looked looked older, skinnier, burned by the sun and with a miserable look on their face. None of them was wearing the resort’s uniforms and they squeezed in the car quickly as they were hiding from something. I knew that they returned from cleaning our apartment and I felt really bad that a poor unfed and pregnant woman had to bend to clean our floor in temperatures of 35 plus Celsius while we, the mothers at the swimming pool would complain that we don’t get 15 min to lay down on the sunbed without getting disturbed. I felt ashamed that I am also one of those mothers.
We keep a blind eye to the poverty around the world so that we can focus on our own family. In today’s world 2% of the people hold 80% of the wealth. This is the world we live in and we we accept every day. As mothers we have a crucial role to bring forth the next generation, but as we focus on our own kids we keep a blind eye to the injustice in the world. The sad thing is that the poverty and injustice impacts mainly the women and children.
So, how can mothers help saving the world? It can happen through solidarity with women which are in need and by speaking up, ‘Leaning in’ and sitting at the table when decisions are made. We all can do something, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant in the eye of the cynical.
What is stopping us?
Love is a ‘double-edge sword’. We love our kids too much and in our attempt to create a safe environment for them we end up creating a fake safe environment if we forget about what is outside our house. We can give them a nice family house, but that house is in as society which is becoming increasing mistrustful and on a planet which is getting increasingly more polluted.
The quote that comes to my mind now is from the Manic street Preachers song: ‘And if you tolerate this then your children will be next’ . A friend of mine showed me the video of this song just before I left on vacation and the irony was that I got reminded of it by the sad reality. Thank you Lucy!