Inspire Me Monday: March 26 – Don’t bury your heart under media dirt…

Donna Brown3 comments894 views
Fragmentary Thoughts
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About Inspire Me Monday

Inspire Me Monday‘Inspire Me Monday’ is a weekly creative blog hop run by The Paper Princess at Create with Joy. Hop on over and take a look at that amazing blog!

The prompt question: What’s Inspiring You This Week? 

This week I have been inspired by an amazing book called The Other Hand by Chris Cleave.  I am often greatly angered by the attitude towards refugees in the United Kingdom.  I passionately believe that the media plays a huge role in the gradual but determined erosion of our sympathies and understanding.

Yes, I believe in the media’s right to free speech – but simply saying things ‘because they can’, regardless of the consequences is frightening.

A couple of years ago I attended a course designed to raise awareness about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees.  Oh my eyes were opened.  It has stayed with me and stayed with me.  Our system here in the UK is so flawed.  I feel like all people see is the negative side of offering asylum – and extreme stories like the one above detract people’s thoughts from what people are fleeing and why.  From the horror and tragedy of having to leave your life and loved ones behind.  From how it must feel to suddenly become one of ‘those’ people and be slammed in the media every day.

So I was inspired to read The Other Hand,  which is funny, tragic, moving and remarkable.  It tells the desperately tragic story of a young girl from Nigeria, whose village is destroyed and whose family is murdered and two holidaymakers who encounter the girl.  It gives the concept of asylum seeking a human face.  And it portrays our system as utterly flawed, our approach to people who genuinely need help as almost inhumane in some ways but just apathetic in others.

This is such a beautifully well-written book, I recommend it to anyone.  It moved me to laughter and it moved me to tears – above all, it was a stark reminder of why I care about these issues and why I will continue to tell people LOOK BEYOND THE NEWSPAPERS.  Look to your own humanity.  Look to your own heart.

The Other Hand

The Other HandWe don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:

It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.

The story starts there, but the book doesn’t.

And it’s what happens afterwards that is most important.

Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

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Donna Brown
Avid reader/audiobook listener, fan of podcasts, prone to the odd Netflix binge. Mum to six crazy and incredible rescue cats. Occasional writer of short stories and poetry.


  1. Dear Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous book with us – and more importantly, how this book inspired YOU to be passionate for a cause you believe in! I loved your post and hope you will continue to share your inspirations with us at Inspire Me Monday! 🙂


  2. Oh Donna, if only I didn't know so well about the distortions created by mass media!

    Greece is currently being dragged through the mud and the media play a huge role in creating an unfavorable, hostile in many cases, attitude in Europe and in the whole world, based on misrepresentations and selected bits of information.

    And, of course, I hear you on the issue of refugees just needing a humane treatment, and not prejudice and indifference — even though the excruciating, highly disproportionate number of refugees and immigrants in Greece is way more than our society can handle right now and does really create some very tangible and serious problems.

    It's a mess, believe me, I know…

    1. Thanks so much for visiting Eleni. I think your point raises an even more serious case for sensitive media handling. Improper policies or policies that lead to overcrowding or a lack of resources help no-one. It's just the media seems to appoint such blame to the people who need the help rather than just looking at the people who make the policies.

      I guess above all we have to remember that what we are told and what are real are often two very different things!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts – I really do appreciate it.

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