From the first day at sixth form the slogan ‘Men and women for others’ was constantly repeated and emphasised, reiterated during some lessons and speeches. It is a quote taken from Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ, highlighting the importance of social awareness. The ‘others’ he mentions involves every human being, especially those who have been ‘othered’ by society such as migrants.
Currently, it is relatively easier to be individualistic, to aim towards self-interest rather than the interest of society as a whole. However, at the same time we cannot forget the feeling of community and our need to belong to something bigger. It’s this very idea of community that led me towards getting involved and doing what I can to raise awareness and hopefully better the situation of the asylum seekers. When I look at the migrants in desperate need of our help, I see human beings suffering, plain and simple. If as a population, we are ready to let people die then we are failing as a group and have severely lost our way. Mother Teresa says, ‘we do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion.’ The compassion that Mother Teresa mentions is a virtue that should motivate us to get involved and help those in need, something that is severely lacking in our society.
The lives of migrants are unimaginably awful. For some, it involves a long, hard struggle across parched lands with almost no food or water. They then must cross the Mediterranean Sea with no guarantee that they will survive this journey. After all this torment and suffering, they’re almost reaching safety and freedom, yet we carelessly snatch this away and chuck them on Captain Morgan tourist boats with no access to resources that they are legally entitled to. The question isn’t ‘why did you get involved’ but it’s ‘how couldn’t you get involved.’ The bible says, ‘Do what is just and right […] do no wrong or violence to the foreigner.’ It is our moral duty to help the most vulnerable in our community. It is not our job to speak for them, but we must amplify their voices and fight for their rights. We must be socially responsible and do everything in our power to help those in need.
Mother Teresa tells us ‘do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.’ We cannot rely on the people in power alone to do what is right, but we must also assume some of the responsibility. However, at the end of the day, the people in Parliament are the ones who make the decisions. This is why we protested in front of the Maltese Parliament, until the Captain Morgan cruises were allowed to disembark.
Lara Mohnani; 18-year-old Sixth Form student studying Sciences at St. Aloysius College.