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 voilá, 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.