Friday, February 20, 2015

One Of 1000 Voices For Compassion

Love and Compassion are Necessities, not Luxuries. Without them, Humanity cannot survive.
The Dalai Lama 


At the moment, writing doesn't come easy to me. I feel like all I can do is going through the motions in order to keep up with the schedules of a first-grader, a kindergardener, and a baby. Add teething, some level of anxiety about going back to work in a little over a week, and a serious case of sleep-deprivation, and voil√°, welcome to my world.
But this is not about me, this is about everyone out there. While I'm indulging in my personal life, sitting on my comfy couch with our healthy children, sleep in my warm bed with the only noises being my snoring husband and cranky baby, trying to figure out what to make for dinner to make everyone happy, there are so many more for whom my life is a dream, or a distant memory, of a life in safety, of a life with all necessities being met, of a life of listening to their children laughing and playing.

Right now, as refugees from all these places in the world where atrocities are committed against these people, they are not welcomed with open arms everywhere. These people, who had to live through and survived more then most of us can imagine are met in initial processing quarters that are unimaginable; sometimes so unimaginable that people rather go back to where they came from. Once they made it through the processing, which can take up to 3 months, they are distributed on to communities that are unprepared and unequipped to lodge hundreds or thousands of people.  They are brought to places where they have to remain behind high fences topped with barbed wire, just to keep them safe from the mob outside, who doesn't want any of "these people" near their homes. They see facilities with horrible graffitis or burned-out houses that were meant to house them before a mob decided that the house should rather be burned down than house refugees. There are demonstrations with protesters claiming to protect the Christian West from the terrorists that are coming in waves to this beautiful country to corrupt it with their own culture.

But in this entirely hopeless situation, there are still bright beacons of compassion. A large, family-owned company providing - at their own cost and expense - an empty warehouse and equipping it with room dividers, bunk beds, and bathroom facilities within hours of hearing the news that a few hundred of refugees are headed towards a completely unprepared community.  People are coming together to collect necessary provisions for the refugees, provide medical and language services, and toys for the little ones. They organize language classes for the adults and make-shift school for the children. And they come together to outnumber protesters 10 to 1 at their so-called Monday demonstrations, which, in and of themselves, are perversions without compare.

These individual small and large acts of compassion are what makes this world a better place. A place I want to leave for our children. A while ago, Lily asked me why people in this world were starving while there is so much food in our supermarkets. I told her that there aren't stores like that everywhere in the world, and that in some places, there's no food growing, there was war, and no food available in the stores that still remained, if there were any to begin with. She wondered, with the compassion of a child, why we in the rich countries did not simply share our food with the people in the poor countries to ensure that everyone had food. It was hard for me to explain to her why it wasn't this easy, even though it could be, but I also encouraged her to grow up, to keep her compassion, and to be a change every step on the way. I am thankful to have compassionate children who do their little part to be a change as they can. And I am thankful that they let me learn from them every day to be a more compassionate person myself.


Compassion Logo

9 comments:

  1. Where I live is the highest population of Burmese refugees. Few speak English. They come with nothing but the clothes on their backs. And yet. They forge ahead. They get jobs. They send their kids to school. With help, they do the best they can to give their families a chance to be happy and successful. Are there people here who resent the presence of refugees? Absolutely. Thankfully, there are plenty that aren't. They are the lucky ones. I often forget about those who didn't make it here to America. About the people trapped in horrible conditions. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. It's just such a current topic in Germany here at the moment, with all the refugees from Iraq and Syria streaming to our country on the run from ISIS. And there should not be a question that we need to do our best to welcome them here, help them to adjust, until maybe one day they can return to their countries or, if they choose to, become contributing members to our society. Maybe it is because I am part of a family with migrational background, but I am disgusted by the people who oppose the refugees finding a new, safe home in our country. Thank you for your kind comment, Christine!

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  2. It's definitely hard for me to write lots of the time with such a busy mom schedule, so I completely understand where you're coming from. But I'm glad you took the time to write this post and share it. =0)

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    1. It sure was an issue close to my heart. Thank you for stopping by, Kim, and for your kind words!

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  3. Good luck with your return to work shortly and the adjustments that will entail.

    And thank you for such a powerful post to add to #1000Speak! I grew up, and still live, in a community that has had various refugees over the years. I remember being in grade school and having kids show up mid-way through school speaking no English and getting to know them, seeing them catch up and get use to Canada. I cannot imagine how hard it is for those families - and then to be met with hatred on top of that just makes it doubly so. It is good compassionate people are out there counteracting those forces. - Louise

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    1. Thank you so much, Louise! I'm actually quite anxious about going back, especially because Calvin is so attached to me, but we'll adjust and in the long run it's going to be good for both of us. Thank you for sharing your experience, and have a wonderful week!

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  4. Stephanie, first, huge HUGE hugs to you as you prepare to go back to work. If you want a good laugh about the first week back, check out my diaper fail story on the blog - it's a classic. And during that hilarious and horrific experience, I was a brand new mom, not even one with any experience! Maybe it will give you a good laugh.
    Thanks for your post - sorry it's taken so long to get over here. The point you make that sticks out to me is one that reminds me of words my Grandfather always said - there is always someone worse off than you think you are. Even in the midst of job loss and transition to two new careers here, we had food on the table and a roof over our heads and support from family in every imaginable way. Many in the same situation don't. It's an important reminder to look at things in perspective.
    Glad you are part of 1000Speak! Your words are wonderful and you are going to rock going back to work!

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    1. It's me, by the way - Meaning of Me Lisa. I've changed some Google accounts and email addresses and gravatars so I look different online. :D

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    2. How could I not recognize our Lisa :-) Thank you so much for taking the time of responding the way you did. I probably won't be able to repay the favor, but wonders may happen :-) I totally agree with your Grandpa. These are wise words and for people in our nicks of the wood generally true. I am glad that you had all this support and a little bit of luck on your side during your transition, that you made it, and everything has worked and is still working out for you!

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