Volunteer stories: Sue on tour 5 (Jan 18)

Arrived back from Greece 8 days ago after another great 3 weeks working in 3 camps. So, what’s changed, what’s different? Nothing really, just me becoming less tolerant to non-like-minded people.

On my journey home there was a train delay due to an “incident” on the line involving a person. General muttering, anger, tempers fraying. A nun was sat next to me, noticed my Refugee Support badge on my coat and we struck up a conversation about the shortcomings of people’s compassion. We didn’t change the world, make the train arrive on time but shared a common passion…..to help others. Ironically I read the following day the person involved in the incident was a refugee running away from CRS ( riot police). The guy has lost both legs.

For the last 9 years, once a month when I’m home, I lunch with around a dozen friends. Only 1 of these support and encourage my volunteering with refugees and homeless. The remainder are either silent, pretending I don’t exist or asking questions such as are you not frightened, do they all have beards? No one yet has asked why I do it. One was so racist I no longer wish to be in her company.

Tomorrow is lunch date day, am I looking forward to it? No! Because of negativity, outright hostility against my beliefs, I’m becoming socially isolated. I refuse invitations as I know people attending don’t feel as I feel and I don’t want to socialize with them.

Do you feel like this, how do you deal with it?

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