You will have seen the front page headline of the Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”.
I was a little puzzled by it. Someone obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the word “fury”.
To quote my on-line dictionary: “unrestrained or violent anger, rage, passion”.
So is someone on Vulcan Close roused to violent anger at the possibility that some migrant children may be moving into their vicinity?
People may be concerned; they may be fearful; they may be unhappy, but it would take a very seriously unbalanced person to fly into a rage over it.
As it is, some people – like the Rev Donald Lugg – have sympathy for them. It’s nice to know there are some fully developed human beings in Whitstable, people who are not afraid to show that they care.
After I read the article, I wrote an impassioned reply, which you can read on my blog, Fierce Writing.
I put a link up onto Facebook and got an encouraging response. Many people gave the thumbs up to my article, or left positive comments.
Someone – Jean Rosette –made the following suggestion, which I liked.
She said that we should volunteer to help the professionals whose legal duty it is to support them.
This seems like a brilliant idea to me. Instead of being distant and suspicious of them, or angry or afraid, we could engage with them, listen to them, mentor them, introduce them to our community.
I’m sure they will have some heart-rending stories to tell: stories of great hardship and danger, of deprivation and loss.
Some of them may have seen loved-ones killed. If you want to know the real meaning of the word “fury” imagine a rocket attack in which your Mother and Father and your entire family are blasted to bone-meal before your eyes.
Such things happen in war. These children may be deeply traumatised.
So, yes, why not? Why not show how compassionate Whitstable can be, and take these children into our community, to learn from them as well as to introduce them to our way of life?
After all, they may be here for a long time.