The world is kind of a scary place right now. Maria came home from school and asked me, “Mom, what’s ISIS?” That led to a discussion about extremists and religion and differences and war and peace and things that are important, but I’d rather be talking about how pretty the clouds are or the crazy wind outside or how cute it was that Charlotte was helping Ollie in the backseat. But hard and scary things need to be talked about I suppose.
Then she asked about refugees.
This topic has people so divided right now and I find it so frustrating.
The quote from Anne Frank keeps popping into my head. Our lives are all different yet the same. We all just want to be happy. Happy and safe.
And I am terrified.
I am terrified that my children are growing up and listening to people around them, here in this country…in this town…speak so poorly about a group of other people. Making generalizations and excuses for racism and judgment and blaming anyone from Obama to Muslims for horrific things happening. Someone on Facebook yesterday made a comment saying that by supporting refugees entering our country, Obama was “trying to sneak Isis in.” I thought maybe she was joking, but her rant continued and I realized very quickly that she was very serious and nothing was going to change our mind.
While we sit at home and have a rough time deciding between McDonald’s or grilled chicken and flip through channels watching either The Simpsons or Homeland and our kids are screaming because they want to wear the Princess Sophia dress, not the Jasmine dress and crying that they don’t want to go to McDonald’s and instead want pizza…there are people who don’t know where home is. Who are being turned away over and over and children who have bigger things to cry about than boring toys and take-out.
I’m not stupid. I know that it’s not just as simple as saying, “Give us those who need help and we will help them and everything will be solved.” I don’t know or have a solution. I don’t know all the facts and I can’t pretend to understand the details of the situations and the ifs, hows or whys. I do know, though, that we should be helping each other. I know that I want my children to grow up knowing how to give and how to feel and how to act. Regardless of whether those needing help are women or children or men…people who need help, need help. And those who have extra should not keep it for themselves.
This doesn’t only apply to the refugee crisis — it applies to everyone at every time in every place. There are always people suffering and people needing help. And there are always people who have the resources to reach out and help.
Sometimes, even when it’s really hard and sometimes a little scary, you might have to dig really deep and consider what is right. What is human and good. You might have to pretend, for a while, that you aren’t selfish and that what you want isn’t for only yourself to be happy and content and comfortable — other people matter, too, not just those who share the same home country (or political beliefs or religion, etc) as you.
The world sucks right now. But I know that if we try really hard, we can make it a little bit better. The world is bigger than our country, our religion, our politics. Those people whose lives are so different yet the same as ours? They want to be happy and safe. Most of us have it, so let’s share.