A few thoughts on this overcast (and a bit chilly) Saturday, because-truth told- though I’m all about focusing on the lovely and positive aspects of life, I’m not ok with staying silent when atrocities exist in the world around us. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that (via Cup of Jo…) children are being ripped from their parents while attempting to cross into the U.S. AND THIS MUST BE STOPPED. Here are a few ways to help.
I also appreciate this from Linsey Laidlaw,
We spent Saturday afternoon on the linoleum floor of a 100 sq foot apartment in the home of our friends who are refugees from Burma. Apartment is a generous term—their home is a room with a drafty window that barely fits a crib and double mattress. There is no bathroom (the family uses a shared unit in a hallway that serves the whole building) and there is no kitchen (the mom cooks on a hot plate and sometimes her neighbor lets her use their kitchen.) It’s not even close to a legal set-up, but they tell us every time we see them how lucky they feel to be here. The mom spends most of her time in this room with her rambunctious three year old and baby because she is afraid to leave without her husband, who works long and hard to provide for his family (including to pay back the airfare for their tickets to the United States: something a lot of people don’t know refugees must do!) Making a new life in NYC is a difficult feat even for English-speaking Americans with comfortable budget and established support network—but these dear friends are working so hard to learn the language, the culture, how to navigate public transit, plus a million other things we take for granted, and yet they always go *far* out of their way to be enormously generous and kind to our family.
This weekend was my friend’s birthday, and to celebrate really wanted to cook us a traditional Burmese meal in her home. They flipped the mattress up and stacked their few belongings along the wall to make room for our whole family to sit with them. I’ve been lucky to eat some really delicious meals in my life, even a few at pretty fancy places, but this was the most special meal I’ve ever been treated to.
I hesitated to share, both out of respect for their privacy and because the experience feels sacred—but it feels important to say right now, over and over, loud and clear: Immigrants make America great. I try to avoid generalizations, but every immigrant I have had the honor to know sits at the tip-top furthest edge of the hard-working/generous matrix—what could be more “American”? If you have the safety, privilege, and comfort in your own life to do so: **speak up and help**. Now.
I hope you join me in speaking up, lest history repeats itself.