The immigration issue has been a big deal, especially lately. On one side, we can’t take care of the whole world when we have our own people to care for. On the other, we have enough resources to care for those who are suffering and often in fear for their lives, so we should. I have no answers. But, I was inspired by this story about a Syrian refugee who opened a falafel shop that was voted “the nicest place in America”. You can see the video by clicking on the link, or find it in the article. https://gma.abc/2pLMof4
The whole article is HERE When you see this one family who needed help and support when they arrived, but now has gone on to be such a positive force in their adopted community, it makes you think.
Then, I happened across this concept, the Human Library. The idea is that if you meet face to face with someone and see them as a real person, you will have a much better understanding of what it means to be in their situation. The library presents a group of people – refugees, abuse survivors, gay or transgendered people, anyone who is not “mainstream” and participants can ask them anything and get candid answers. Again, the idea is that we are much more able to relate to individual people instead of a crowd of “them”.
The Human Library seems to be mostly in Europe and the Mid East at this point, though I noticed there is an event in Panama City next month. That’s very expensive ($250) so maybe out of the price range of those who need it most? But hopefully it’s a concept that will grow and reach more and more people.
I’m sure my experiences have colored my thinking. As a home health nurse I was in everybody’s homes from the richest to the poorest, and I worked with people of all colors and situations. Now, in Panama, in this “foreign” country I find people just like us. Of course there are differences but basically they want to be happy and they want their family and friends to be happy, to be safe, and to have what they need. Is it US vs THEM? Or is the whole world US? like I said there are issues far beyone my ability to tackle, but I’d rather see less division and more compassion.