"During my lifetime of working as a Probation Officer, Relaxation Trainer and Stress Management Group Worker in West Yorkshire, I frequently came across many people who had reached the end of their tether and were prepared to give up and stop trying. I have known more than a dozen who have felt driven to commit suicide or engage in an act which led to the death of another.
It is the saddest of resignations when one stops caring completely about self and others.
Some were down and outs, others found themselves swamped with a mountain of debt which they could never repay, some were in abusive relationships and many were addicted to pills, drugs, food, illegal activities or unhealthy lifestyles.
While there are many ways of working with such people, each of them more or less suitable for one person than another, no way will ever succeed until and unless the person starts to believe in themselves and the goodness they can offer the world.
It may sound trite, but the three essential needs to make a person feel wholesome are health, hope and happiness, but none of this holy trinity will be ever be experienced by any individuals who cannot like, love and believe in themselves!
Thus, the prime responsibility of every parent in this world is to always behave towards their children in ways that makes the child feel liked, loved and left with a belief in their own intrinsic goodness and worth. Similarly, the prime responsibility of every person in the world is to behave towards their neighbour in exactly the same way!
There are few things in my life today which are capable of making me despair, but during the past month, to see hundreds of thousands of people across the world flee their war torn countries and risk their lives crossing the open seas in unsafe crafts towards the safety of the west, only to be refused entry and refugee asylum status if they get there, has sickened me to the stomach.
Among the heartbreaking stories was that of the body of a three year old boy washed up on a beach in Turkey whose family were making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected. Syria was already at war when Aylan Kurdi was born. He died with his five-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan. Their father, Abdullah, survived and has still not been granted refugee status by any of the European Governments. Meanwhile, David Cameron refuses to do what the British people know in their hearts to be the only humane thing to do; to open our borders as well as our hearts to 'genuine refugees,' as it is impossible to open one while leaving the other closed!
To turn one's back on them and their dead children left on the beaches of Europe cannot make them ever feel liked, loved or left with a belief in their own intrinsic goodness and worth.
For pity's sake, have a heart!" William Forde: September 4th, 2015.