A Better Life, Definitely
Inspired by a conversation with my trailblazing sister the other day and another this morning with a special light, here are my thoughts on diversity and migration ~
The magic that humans possess is essentially harnessed in the ability to communicate with each other. To share hopes, dreams, ideas, desires, frustrations, creativity – and how we feel about each other. This connection has populated the earth over time and has helped us evolve into having a truly blessed and fruitful existence on this planet. And yes, it also causes us pain and stagnates progress, mainly because of hubris, fear, and, sometimes, a blatant disregard or disrespect for each other and this beautiful planet.
My trailblazing sister shared with me the other day something one of her neighbours had raised at a social gathering the other night – a concern about a local school playing the national anthems of other countries at the end of the school year to celebrate the diversity of students from all around the world. The neighbour was angry that the school did this and said that the Canadian way is the only way, I’m paraphrasing here. As an immigrant myself, I found this shallow thinking to be annoying, quite frankly – and thought about it some more.
Countries like Canada and the United States came into existence because of immigration – the desire of people from around the world to leave their countries and continue their lives in these lands of opportunity. Today, the lopsided carousel of progress in the world continues to drive good people to take massive risks, and in many cases, to start somewhere new – a place without war, without dictatorships, without slavery, without corruption, without persecution. As at the end of 2017, there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, 85% from developing countries per the UN Refugee Agency: http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html . 68.5 million human beings looking for a home – 68.5 million men, women and children.
This is an incredibly complex people problem that requires intelligent and heartfelt resolution, definitely – full stop.
The recent chaotic decision of the current White House administration to separate migrant families is another chilling example of how shallow thinking is creating veiled permission, and some would say reinforcing a superficial right, to act and behave towards those in dire straits in such a barbaric manner. In my opinion, minimal outrage from the citizen hoard about all of this exemplifies the ‘not my problem’ and/or ‘can’t do anything about it’ reality we live in the world today. And in the case of the neighbour, it is starting to creep out locally, as called out in the aforementioned example, regarding the actions of educators with the very best intentions to create harmony and diversity amongst students.
To all those organizations, those hard-working teams, those committed and caring individuals working on finding homes and ways forward for displaced human beings in desperate need – thank you for being shining lights, for demonstrating grace and tenacity under extremely difficult circumstances, for acting with inclusivity, for celebrating diversity – and for motivating many of us to contribute to the solution in a positive manner with our own thoughts, actions and behaviours. Keep being the voice of our fellow human beings looking for a better life. Keep sharing their stories with the world. Keep reminding us that we all share one existence on this glorious planet of ours. Definitely.