Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Suspending the self-obsession

Inspired by the lovely Georgina at Dad's Second Whatever I have decided to take a break from blogging about Moi today in favour of the greater good!

The daily grind does reduce your enthusiasm for championing social issues, I find. Because sometimes, life does feel like one giant social issue. But it's worth remembering, sometimes, how comparatively lucky we are. And the following three organisations are being put up on my blog as a reminder of that.

Scope is a UK charity working with children and adults suffering from cerebral palsy. They are passionate campaigners for disability equality, through the "Time to Get Equal" campaign and help as many people as they can with the disease to live a full life, achieve independence and focus on their abilities not their disabilities, and they also support the families and carers of sufferers. DP and I are off to China in September in fact, to walk the Great Wall in aid of this charity and so far we have raised over £3000 this year. DP's mum is a sufferer, so this cause is close to his heart. I visited Scope HQ in London back in May and was completely blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the team there. There was real commitment, real passion, these were not just people doing an everyday job to pay the piper.

Seedlings for Christ is the charity run, among others, by the fabulous Jojo at
Tapa Lapa of Life Sponsoring children in Gambia, the organisation aims to give the next generation hope for the future in making sure they can go to school and get an education. Now, I'm not religious in the slightest, but I think where those who are use it to put their beliefs in action and create a better world, it rocks supremely. Just a little look at the community that the charity helps in Gambia reminded me that so many people in this world do not have the things that we take for granted - plentiful food, access to education - and that we really are privileged here. It's a shame that we are so greedy in the Western world, because if we shared just a little more of what we have, no child need die in poverty and misery again. Jojo - hats off to you and your church. We need more people like you in the world.

This one is also for my DP. Mankind is a UK charity who help men suffering from domestic abuse. When my DP was going through this, yes, at the hands of the BM, he had nowhere to turn because all the help was directed towards women. Mankind run a helpline and refuge for men, they fund research into domestic violence and aim to help end the stigma surrounding men who suffer from this either from their female or male partners. They also support the education of boys and young men so that they neither become abusers nor victims. I won't go into the horrific things that happened to DP, but he is not exceptional I'm afraid. The fact is that anyone of any gender can be abused, and anyone can be an abuser.

Sometimes it does us some good to remind us of the REALLY sucky stuff that's going on out there. I had felt that my week had sucked pretty royally so far, but I can't really compare a run in with some irate chav granny, being accused of telling my stepchild she has BO, not making the cut for a sports team and being a bit skint to having no money to send my children to school, living in fear of abuse or living every day with a disability that made everyday life 100 times harder.

So today, I am being grateful. Grateful for my liberty, that clean water comes out of my tap, and thankful for the life I have been given, for whatever reason, whether by accident or design. And perhaps a little bit more motivated to consider these things a little bit more often as a privilege and not an entitlement.


  1. Great post! I agree it does help to know it could be worse and realize there are a lot of people having to suffer more than we typically do. Easy to forget but it’s true and we should be grateful!!! Have a great day!

  2. Thank you for posting about us, Seedlings, in your blog! You're right, we do take a lot for granted and it's easy to forget there are so many out there that have so little.
    Thanks so much for your kind words.

  3. Very thought-provoking blog Wicked Steppie. Great choices!! x

  4. Awesome post! I really appreciated the last link because partner abuse against men is something that doesn't get talked about in society. And the trip to China to walk the Great Wall for CP - WOW, that is so amazing. And you've already raised $3,000!! Thank you so much for sharing these important parts of your life with us all!

  5. I'm going to show that Mankind link to my husband. His ex used to hit him and throw things at him all the time (ie, lamps)...he would frequently have black eyes at work after a big blow out. Some of his "friends" from then still make fun of him for it. And that is just the tail end of it. It was a really scary and humiliating time for him. Tell your DP he's not alone!
    Thanks so much for sharing!