I am lucky

light
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I am lucky that I am white.

I am lucky that, as a Brit, I have been perceived as the “right” kind of foreigner in the countries I have lived in (even after Brexit).

I am lucky that nobody has ever tried to blame me for the actions of others who I just happen to share a nationality with (again: Brexit).

I am lucky that I have never suffered abuse – whether physical or verbal – due to my nationality, race, or religion (other than the harmless but not very funny “jokes” about how I should be used to rain).

I am lucky that I was able to live in two EU countries before Britain left the EU, which will presumably make it much harder for Brits to do the same thing in the future.

I am lucky that I had the opportunity to move to Switzerland based partly on the the fact that I was a European Union citizen.

I am lucky that I was able to search for and find a job in Germany without worrying about how to get a work permit.

I am lucky that I could marry my boyfriend next week if I wanted to with very little fuss (other than a bit of bureaucracy).

I am lucky that I will never have to correct anyone who automatically refers to my partner as “he”.

I am lucky that, through their father, my future children will be EU citizens and will be in a position to enjoy the same privileges I did if they want to live, work, or study in another EU country at any point.

I am lucky that the only discrimination I am likely to face is because I am a woman (for example, maternity laws in Switzerland are abysmal. And by the way Britain, the reason they’re currently half decent in the UK is due to an EU law!). I will never be told to “go back to where I came from” despite the fact that I am currently not actually living in the country of my birth. I would never have been assumed to be a foreigner in my country of birth based on where my grandparents came from (despite the fact that my grandfather was Ukrainian). I will never be refused permission to marry the person I love because they happen to have the same gender I do. I will never be beaten up for wearing the “wrong” kind of clothes or for kissing my partner in public. I will never be accused of being a terrorist because of my religion and country of origin.

It would be so easy for me to turn a blind eye to everything that’s going on and assume that the world will go on, somehow, and things will eventually get better.

However, other people are not so lucky, and those are the people we need to be there for in these awful, awful times. We need to reach out to those who may need help. We need to not ignore it if we see discrimination in action. Above all, we need to be kind to each other.

The world may seem like a dark place at the moment, but every single one of us is capable of doing something to spread a little light in our own small part of it.

This post was partially inspired by this post on  Ami im Schwabenland, this post on Rhyme and Ribbons and many, many posts by the ever wonderful Katy.