e972a1_f509a674ceba4084b2b71d17b1a56553Less than an hour after we’d left home, we ran out of fuel on the latest convoy trip to Calais. My fault  completely. Three of us sat there in the van, playing the blame game (playfully). But it was my fuck up and I knew it. So what? No harm done. It was properly pissing down too. No chance we’re walking 4 miles to fill up. Just phone up Matt in one of the other vans, ask him to pick up some diesel and drop it with us as he passed by. “Can you grab us some cappucinos while you’re at it? Maybe a Mars bar?!”. Too easy. We were stranded for 40 minutes, during which we chomped down all our supply of samosas and had some banter to pass the time whilst I got slaughtered on Facebook for it. We had a mild panic that we’d miss the ferry, but we’d paid extra for a flexible ticket. Good job we didn’t have our kids with us. They’re safe at home or school. That’s as bad as it got. “Stranded”? Well, sort of…

Fast forward 4 hours and the scene changes to the camp in the middle of a few thousand desperate refugees in the pissing rain.

Think of some depressing adjectives to describe a life:

* homeless? check
* hungry? check
* cold and wet? check and check
* frightened? check
* hopeless? maybe …

What about “stranded”? Not everyone has a “Matt” to casually call in a time of crisis. No guarenteed fuel drop. No food drop. No nothing. Or is there? Again, maybe …

I’m not going to yack on about hopelessness because I don’t subscribe to the no-win scenario. There’s always a way, “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”… won’t I?

We can step off this ride anytime we want and go back to our comfy beds. Our passports let us come and go, based on where we were born. Lucky us eh?

You may well overlook the fortune bestowed on you because of where you were lucky enough to be born. Most of us have a long list of “Matts” we can rely on to save the day. We sleep at night under the blanket of security that luck has provided for us.

The security we feel in the our cossetted world means if we run out of fuel we know it will be OK. Our margin for error is massive. Not so for those less fortunate. Their margin is nearly zero. And one day if our luck changes, we could be just like them.

My own kids are at an age where they ask me about what happens when you die. As an athiest it’s one of the hardest questions to field. The best answer you can give them is that you should try to do the absolute best with the time that you have. Make a difference, but most of all be kind.

Ask yourself this. What do you do with the freedom you were born into? You can always make a difference, however small it may seem, and give hope to those with none. Think about it!

Anyway, rant over. I’ll let you get back to your “venti iced skinny hazelnut cappucino, sugar-free syrup (extra shot, light ice, no whip)”