There has been a lot of pointless chit chat, online ‘noise’ and debate about Home Sweet Home. And it is all entirely missing the point.
Because it goes beyond the debate about the usual (I’m going to call) ‘bono-bashing’ – where Irish people give out about successful Irish people for getting #notions and out to get the attention of the parish.
It goes beyond the debate about modern cynicism for any hint of ‘doing good’ as as an outdated victorian-esque benevolence – motivated by overprivileged naivety (again, read: #notions) that what you do will actually do good. Where actions and donations are overshadowed by a newly realised heritage of bribery, corruption, imperialist agendas, religious agendas and extortionate salaries. All of which has somehow battered ‘doing good’ into potentially meaning ‘doing worse’. A cynicism – I would suspect – overinflated and widely adopted by people (myself included) because it serves as a useful rationale for doing nothing at all.
And it also goes beyond the debate about social media’s ‘relationship status’ with social change. The modern misconception that ‘engaging’ with a message online as a self appointed keyboard warrior of justice actually has a tangible output beyond giving us all the ‘feels’ on Facebook. The idea that ‘awareness’ is the most powerful action to take…
Because, it isn’t. Action is the most powerful action.
And therein lies the home truth that most of the online debate is missing.
Home Sweet Home needs our support and attention (if you believe in the cause) because it is about direct social action. The sort of attention that leads to real, tangible change.
It’s easy to see why we’ve missed the point. As a nation, we’ve been pretty ‘light touch 2.0’ on direct action over the years. Resistance to any injustice, unfairness or negative change – much like the rebellion of 1916 a century before – has come in small pockets. Matches struck in the dark, quickly extinguished.
But we are starting to see a change in society.
Home Sweet Home is important in this overall shift in the Irish psyche because it is unifying in its motivations.
Everyone can get behind ending homelessness. And nobody wants to be seen as the guy that isn’t.
And through this, it has the potential power to force the Irish government out of apathy.
Not just apathy for the homeless, but apathy for us all.
To remind them that we, the people, are the only motivation that should matter to them.
And that starts with our most vulnerable.
What their response is is almost irrelevant. The point is it pulls them down off the fence and forces them to play a hand. And that, in itself feeds the flame.
Home Sweet Home is not about romantic ‘notions’, fame whoring or misplaced ‘do gooding’. It’s about making politics work for people.
We just forgot what that looked like.
Some ways you can get involved:
- Donate Directly to the Home Sweet Home Fund Me page.
- Buy some of Annie West’s gear between now and Sunday (what a perfect Christmas present eh?! Yes, that is a hint please and thank you).
- Buy Lisa Hannigan’s specially recorded version of Silent Night for just 1 Euro
- Follow Home Sweet Home’s Facebook and Twitter Pages for direct call outs for specific items/people and skills (they are not taking general donations for books, food etc right now).
- Get out on the streets and down to the events and fundraising in support.