Life isn’t fair.
I tell my kids all the time. It is what it is…but it sucks. Sometimes, it really, really sucks.
I can sit here in my safe, comfy home, bury my head in a book, entertain myself with the latest movie, get lost in my garden or home improvements and pretend for a little while that none of it exists. I can block it out and protect myself – because it can all be so overwhelming…so tiring – thinking about all that is wrong with the world. If I ignore it, I can pretend that it’s all okay.
But it isn’t.
Well actually, it is for me. I’ve got more than enough to meet my needs. I’ve always had love and care in my life. I’ve got safety and security. I’ve got freedom and opportunity. I’ve got hope.
Hope for tomorrow.
But what of Hani?
She’s seen terror. She’s seen death. She’s tasted poverty and cruelty. She knows loneliness and fear. She knows pain. Security is elusive, safety is debatable. Freedom she has never known…not really. Opportunity is only something of dreams.
Hope – perhaps that’s all she has to hang on to.
Hope for tomorrow is being sure that things can be better. Knowing that circumstances can change, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that there is a plan, a time limit, an end date, a way out. There is hope when someone is coming to rescue you, or you have the strength and determination to do it yourself. Hope sees escape.
Hani lit a little candle called hope – hope burning deep in her soul – hope that it would light her way. She gathered all the courage she could muster and she prayed for a miracle. She hoped and prayed for something beyond all she could possibly imagine.
Hani – she and I are different, and yet so alike. We have more in common than not. Our shared humanity is the link that binds us. At least it should be.
But hope. Mine is alive and well. Hers is hanging on by a thread.
My hope says I can move forward. I have people who love and care and want the best for me. Sure I’ve had my fair share of hurt and pain, but so many of the problems in my life are only temporary, and they aren’t really so bad anyway – not when I keep them firmly in perspective. Even in the bigger and scarier things, I have access to so much. A little bit of patience, time and determination, and things can change.
Hani’s hope – it’s shaky, fragile even. She’s seen a glimpse of the possibilities, then been plunged into darkness once more. Although her eyes have become somewhat accustomed to the darkness, she knows there is so much more to be had in the light.
Hani sees the world and wonders why. She wonders why for some it is so good, and for some it is so bad.
I was born into hope.
Hani – she was born into horror.
Her candle has been burning a long time…it no longer resembles the candle it once was. Yet she hopes. Barely. But still she hopes. Hope for tomorrow. Hope that one day things can be different.
I don’t have the answers, and sometimes it seems so unattainable…I wish I was more courageous…
…but I hope for her…for all the Hani’s of our world.
(Please note: Hani is just a name I have used – I wrote this piece in response to reading Submission 21A and 21B of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. If you haven’t already, please take the time to have a read here.