One of my day’s ‘famous lines’ is: “Remember you did nothing to be born in this country. It’s a privilege and one that comes with responsibility. It’s not something to be taken for granted.” Yet, taking it for granted is all we do.
Right now, there are thousands of children, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala trying to make their way to the United States. Some actually cross the Southern Border and are sent to detention centers. Others, after, spending money their families don’t have and after much pain, despite their determination, don’t make it. Either way, it’s no easy journey. One, I can’t imagine taking as an adult; an adult who’s traveled alone, lived abroad and who speaks English and Spanish. I cannot fathom being a teenager, or worse still, a child, trying to arrive in the States. I doubt these children and teenagers want to leave their families, their homes, their friends and the world they know. I believe they leave out of necessity. It seems the only viable option for a future.
Some feel like “they” are not our problem. “They” cost money, “they” are coming illegally, “they” should stay in their countries. I disagree. “They” are “us”. Those children are “our” children, “our” responsibility. “They” have done something no one would choose to do if they didn’t feel they had to. “They” have sacrificed in ways we don’t have to. “They” have come here, believing in the American Dream and praying for grace and compassion along the way.
“They” want the same things we want for ourselves and for our children. All parents want the best for their children. Parents and families want to provide security, safety, education, food and shelter, love and happiness to their kin. With these hopes and needs, again, “they” are “us”. It is my hope that we can come together and offer support to any and everyone who comes asking for help.
It’s easy to forget that we did nothing to be born in this country. It’s easy to think we’re entitled to ‘our’ things and that we are only responsible for the citizens of this country. However, we all know it’s important to be kind, compassionate, respectful and helpful to others. Let’s stop worrying about what’s mine and what’s yours and come together to share ALL that we have with ANYONE who needs it. Let’s put people’s precious lives, their safety and their future in our hands if it’s requested of us. Let’s love every person who crosses the border, and those who try, because they want what we have: the possibility of a decent life.
This week, I hope you spend extra time focusing on all the privileges you have from living in this country. I also hope you can think of a way to show your gratitude…even a smile goes a long way!