The Grenfell Tower tragedy shocked everyone. Like 9/11 I feel so horrified that I have come to terms with it by not thinking about it too much. How would I have coped if this block of flats, close to the back of my house, had burned down?
I got a clue reading George Kershaw’s blog. He took a tumble out hunting in 2015 and is paralysed. His posts describe with wry humour how he is managing. Under the circumstances he is doing pretty well, getting out and about and solving the many problems he and his family are facing. In his most recent post he mentions his children.
The compassion which has been shown to me in my chair is literally as nothing compared to the reaction of Londoners and indeed the whole country to the horrible fire in London. My children, who live in the shadow of the tower, have been helping in any way they can and have found the experience to be wonderfully uplifting as they work with other volunteers whose only thing in common is their compassion. Sam found himself working with a young man from Leeds who had randomly driven down to see how he could help. When they arrived near a tube station to empty the contents of donated goods, Sam called for help and within five minutes, 50 passers-by were helping. This spirit is so much more edifying than the name and blame politicians seeking to gain political advantage.
If you live in sight of a disaster like Grenfell Tower it is impossible to ignore. The man from Leeds is exceptional wanting to travel to help. Proximity breeds compassion. Most of us just don’t have a deep enough well of compassion and only draw on it when we are touched personally. Or maybe I’m just describing myself.