Where do refugee children sleep? Look at the photos. Don’t avert your eyes. You’ll want to look away. I did, too. But don’t.
When I looked at the photos, all I could think about was my son’s bed. How he sleeps on a full-sized bed with an organic mattress and a twin bunk bed over him for when he gets older, or has a sleepover, or wants to share with his sister. How he has a pillow and several stuffed lovies to cuddle every night. How he has several sets of clean sheets waiting in drawers in case they are needed. How he has a fleece blanket for regular use, but when I realized it was too cold in his room the other night, I just reached up to the top bunk to grab a warm comforter to pull down on top of him. How his bed is big enough and comfortable enough for me to lay down with him every night and hold him in my arms until he falls asleep.
When I looked at the photos, all I could think about was how these children could be mine. How much like my own children they look when they are sleeping, limbs akimbo, face tucked into the crook of an arm, blanket pulled up to the chin, peaceful expression.
When I looked at the photos, all I could think is how can we (humans, citizens of the world, Americans, mothers…) accept this? How can we accept that millions of children all over the world, not just refugees, sleep in the grass, in the woods, on top of cardboard boxes, underneath a parent’s coat or with no covering at all, when at the same time, half of the world’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of EIGHTY PEOPLE? Eighty. 8-0. Eighty people control the same wealth as 3.5 billion others.
I actually didn’t start out this post thinking about income inequality, but there it is. Call me a socialist–I wear the title with pride.
I can’t do anything about the world’s outrageous income inequality tonight, but I want to do something, ANYTHING, for those children sleeping in the woods. If you feel the same way, here is an excellent list of ways that you can help. And here’s another one. Pick one. Do something. Do ANYTHING. Because we can’t just accept this.