My fellow humbled seekers,
I share your feeling of despair. I empathize with the despair that Syrian refugees and all refugees must feel. We must weigh in, and do what we can to help. It’s a crisis.
I think of how my life would be different if the current immigration tone were in place when my great grandfather was emigrating to America. He fled Greece, in the early 20th century because he saw a brighter future for himself and his mother. He believed that they weren’t destined to sleep on a dirt floor, scraping by, knowing that in staying they would be stuck, sleeping on that floor with little or no opportunity to make a better life. As it turns out, along their journey, they were openly accepted into America, as promised. He went on to be an successful business man in Ohio. He contributed to our country, as a motivated immigrant with hope and a work ethic. He just needed the chance.
My grandma and her father on my other side also faced the same struggle and hope and opportunity. They too made it here thanks to the open arms of America and they died here having been productive citizens who loved their country.
I’m seeing that our country is in the midst of a moral crisis regarding immigration. I’m coming to believe that many of our country’s power brokers have turned their backs on basic human needs, and on our country’s fundamental values. After all, we are supposed to be a refuge for seekers coming our way out of desperation, in the promise of safety and freedom and opportunity.
I believe this dissent, this strong voice that seems to be taking over our country’s immigration policy is based in fear, not in hatred. It seems like hatred and sounds like hatred but that hatred has to come from somewhere. It can’t be based on desire – I don’t think these voices intend ill will. I think they are fearful. And they have found a shared voice in other fearful individuals.
Perhaps I’m naive and pollyanna. So be it. But I can’t lose hope or perspective. I’m a humbled seeker after all.
It’s unclear to me what the fear is exactly. From the rhetoric it sounds like a fear for our national security as well as for the economic impact of supporting refugees. But it doesn’t add up. We all care about the strength of our nation’s security and our economy. So, in the case of these wayward souls with loud voices and a lot of support, it must be that they have lost touch with their morality, their desire to do what’s right out of a sense of compassion, because they are afraid. They must have lost their faith in their fellow humans, thus they fear them.
I’m sure there are also self-interested and political fears that underscore this point of view. No doubt, there are plenty of motivations and opportunities for the fearful seeker in our free country. As it should be I suppose, we are a free country after all…kinda the point.
The key to me is that we humbled seekers work to put the right people in power to influence policy, rhetoric, and the political playing field in the right direction – in a moral direction, on behalf of refugees seeking safe harbor. If for no other reason than to honor our country’s brave and humble beginnings as immigrants.
It’s our responsibility as citizens to exercise our vote. And it’s our obligation as humans to be on the side of humanity, not fear.
With love, and hope, and a sense of urgency,