Note: This post has been contributed.
No matter how hard you think you have it, think again. Over and over we have to tell ourselves that we’re not the only ones in the world that are going through tough times. Sometimes you can’t even imagine someone else who is suffering and going through traumatizing experiences because you just can’t. Seeing is believing, which is why so many people explore through cultural such as reading stories, watching movies, listening to hauntingly beautiful music etc. it's very easy to allow yourself to believe, you’re the only one that is finding it difficult to cope, seeking answers in life and lacking the motivation to carry on. You’re not! We walk around the society not knowing who is standing or sitting beside us in public transport and when lining up at stores. Have you ever thought you might be standing next to someone who has been or is going through something that is testing their willpower to carry on? These are the figures that walk in the shadows, but bear the greatest burdens in our communities.
They’re known as the men and women in blue. They’re just ordinary people at heart. They come from local communities where they grew up and made lifelong friends in. Every day without fail, they put themselves in harm's way for us. Whenever there is something that disturbs the peace, be it a terrorist attack, or a large house fire, these brave men and women will take the call and respond as fast as possible. So what happens to policemen and women when they retire and can no longer be on the force? There is NARPO which stands for the National Association of Retired Police Officers. They can reconnect with people they served with and live life after work together by going on trips and to events. For those who are injured in the line of duty, life can seem as if it has been robbed from you. Hope For Heroes is a charity dedicated to looking after disabled police officers that have had to leave duty to their injuries. Far from being allowed to fade away into the shadows of society, this charity stages events such as gatherings, dinners, picnics and days out with the similar company. It's a way for those who have lost limbs, eyesight and possibly suffering from PTSD to meet and stay in touch with a really supportive network that can help them stay positive.
Image by Olanrewaju Akinwunmi
The scars of war
Veterans are some of the bravest and courageous people you can ever meet. When national governments call upon them to protect the country, they answer the call. Usually, in popular culture, we always hear about the aftermath of wars through the microphones of politicians who made those decisions that deployed soldiers to the battlefield. What Max Martini is doing is telling the story from the soldier’s perspective. He’s dedicated seven years of his life to making a movie about a serviceman who returns from war, with scars that many people cannot see. He survived an IED blast which made him the sole survivor of his team. Max is telling this story by looking at the very real impacts of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders. While everything may look fine on the outside, these warriors can often feel alone as they deal with mental conditions that war has left them with.
All too often society gets lost in sensationalist nonsense. Whether it be some kind of celebrity spat or political scandal, we always seem to forget that line of men and women who become our shield against evil.