The Boy In The Orange Chair

I’m pretty confident you know about the boy to whom my headline refers.

I won’t be adding the picture in question to this post, nor will I add a link, because I’m afraid of feeling as though doing so somehow represents “job done” for me.  I have added it to my blog >  That shows how much I care > Time to move on with my life.  This is something all social media users tend to do when atrocities happen around the world and it has to be because it somehow makes us feel better.

But then there’s the other end of this spectrum.  Right – so posting a picture isn’t enough…then what CAN I do?   Is there any way I can help that boy?  Any way I can help prevent similar, or indeed much worse, fates befalling other innocents?  Any way I can help war-torn nations like Syria?

I certainly can’t answer those questions right now as I type, but I certainly believe there has to be a way, and most of that belief stems from the fact (and yes this can be called a fact) that I am far from the only person to have the reaction I did when I saw the photo.  With the reach of social media these days it had to be a reaction shared by tens of millions around the globe.

A couple of weeks ago my 7-year-old son came in from playing outside and sat beside me on the sofa.  An advert for an organisation like Oxfam happened to be on the TV – I wasn’t really paying it much mind.  He started to tell me about what was going on out on the road with his mates when he interrupted himself saying “I really want to help those people.”  His words left me speechless – I hadn’t a clue what to say in reply other than “I know.  And you will.”

So maybe that is but one way we can help.  Educate the next generation so they can get us that little bit closer to a world without war.  Or at least that little bit closer to a world that doesn’t assume it’s hopelessly naive to imagine a world without war.  Just because it’s not a solution that will bear fruit tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or even in our own lifetime, doesn’t mean it warrants rejection.

If we don’t at least try, surely the emotions we feel when we see images like The Boy In The Orange Chair will become meaningless.

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