If the kids are united was a song written and performed by Sham 69 and was on the UK charts in 1978. The second verse of the song says “Just take a look around you what do you see? Kids with feelings like you and me! Understand him, he’ll understand you, for you are him, and he is you. If the kids are united, then we’ll never be divided”
A Time of Division
In the last few years, I have noticed more that as a country and as a world we have become more and more divided over different issues. Things have become more politicised than I can remember before in my life. Families have split up over ideology, politics and opinions. This is not just in the United Kingdom but I have read and seen on the news where families have split up over disagreements around politics and even the current pandemic.
The reason I am writing about this today is not just because it is nearly Christmas and New year, which is a time that generally unites people but because I have serious concerns about the direction of where the world is going.
Learning from History
In times past a crisis brought people together, uniting them in one common cause, to defeat evil where it existed and fight for right. Georg Hegel, a German philosopher in 1800-1900 said “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history”
Between 1939 and 1945 most of the world was united to stand against fascism. To fight against a fascist dictatorship and an evil, murderous regime. During this time thousands of people gave their lives for their friends, their families, strangers and the world.
Now we see a rise once again of fascism and not so much in Germany now but in Countries, we would not have expected to see it.
One of my favourites places to visit is the village of Eyam (pronounced Emm) in Derbyshire. Eyam is also known as the plague village. In 1665 the plague, also known as the Black Death, came to the village through a bundle of cloth from London.
During the plague, the Church in Eyam recorded the death of 273 people from a population of around 800 people. Some of the village people we immune to the disease. In one household a woman lost her husband and six children, but she survived. The plague lasted 14 months in that village but it didn’t spread beyond the village and that is because they put other before themselves.
To protect other people the villagers quarantined themselves off from other villages and towns around them to protect them. They would meet in the open air to worship rather than gather in a building. The Villagers of Eyam placed a border where traders from around would deliver food etc. and would leave money in a trough filled with vinegar to decontaminate the coins and not spread the disease.
The villagers of Eyam made personal sacrifices to protect those around them. They went the extra mile to protect people.
If the kids are divided, we will struggle to be united
One of the things that come to mind is the way that the pandemic has divided people. We have a division between “Vaxxers” and “Antivaxxers”, between masks wearers and people who refuse to wear a mask. The division between conspiracy theorists and non-conspiracy theorists.
Fear divides us, fear that we will lose our liberty. Fear that we are losing our freedoms. This is exacerbated by social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. I am not against the platforms and believe they can be used for good.
The pandemic is an opportunity for people to stand together against this virus. We can decide that we will not let the ones we love get ill, be hospitalised or even die.
Death to COVID-19 in 2022
The World Health Organisation, an organisation that many of us had never heard of until the pandemic started, said that we will not return to normality until well into 2022. We can help to put an end to it in 2022. If we had the mentality of the people Eyam! If we were prepared to make short term sacrifices for the long term benefits then we can all beat this pandemic. We are in a war, just like 1939 to 1945 but our enemy is unseen. The enemy isn’t someone who disagrees with you. It is the COVID-19 virus that is taking away people life, health and freedoms.
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