We are living in disturbing times with the escalation of hate crimes and countries closing their borders to refugees. Many people are seeing parallels with the rise of the Nazis prior to World War Two.
Ironically I came across 'Refugee Blues' a poem written in 1939 by W. H. Auden this week, the same week in which our government said it would only allow 300 child refugees into our country rather than the 3,000 promised.
This poem describes the responses Auden received when he was fleeing persecution in Germany. Here is a powerful interpretation in song which demonstrates the relevance to the times we are living in now.
It's more important than ever not to get disheartened but instead we can carry out more acts of kindness. In times like these there are also incredible acts of love everywhere. Here are just a few…
Take inspiration from the love of these parents and how they have acted upon the wrongs they experienced to change the world for the better:
Here's an example of another beautiful act of kindness: an individual giving presents to people who are homeless:
This Italian town has taken a brilliant approach to welcoming Asylum seekers:
And take a look at this Turkish couple who turn their wedding banquet into an act of love, feeding 4,000 Syrian refugees:
There are so many ways of sharing and showing love. Love is a universal feeling and a gift that every individual carries. Altruistic love is a selfless act practicing concern for the welfare of others. "Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness. The word was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in French, as altruisme, for an antonym of egoism."
I believe that, as a reaction to the rise in ego, selfishness and fear-driven politics, we are also witnessing a rise in altruistic love. And perhaps out of all of this a whole new climate of kindness, cooperation and equality will emerge. I believe in the power of altruistic love to restore faith and transform tragedy into hope.
This updated quote by Edward Burke is relevant:
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing."
So here's to altruistic love on Valentine's Day. Appreciate love coming your way, pass it on and perform acts of kindness to those who are vulnerable, those who are being discriminated against and know that you have the power to make a difference.