Looking Behind To Move Ahead

This week has been a difficult one for me. It’s been hard to find joy when the world around us is in chaos.

How do you write about hope when you feel hopeless?

How do you share thoughts on encouragement when you see discouragement all around you?

It’s been a week of marches, protests and further division in our country and the world.

So what are we to do with everything going on right now?

Should we turn a blind eye silently watching as the country implodes or do we stand up and fight against injustice, oppression, and discrimination?

“Ignorance and its denial will, sad to say, lead us down the same road as it did in all past history.” ~ Jordan Maxwell

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in our history.

In 1939, the United States turned away over 600 refugees from Germany, and half of them were sent home and later murdered. You can find the story here

“Silence ensures that history repeats itself.” ~Erin Gruwell

In 1942, President Roosevelt handed down an executive order that targeted and excluded a group of people based on race and national origin. It declared all people of Japanese ancestry be removed from their homes and relocated to internment camps.

Nearly 130,000 people (approx 2/3rd American born) were relocated to these camps as our government’s response to the fear following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1988, President Regan signed the Civil Liberty Act, which apologized and paid $20,000 to each camp survivor or their heirs. The legislation included an admittance that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

Regardless of what side of the wall you stand on, it is imperative we all do our part as citizens of the United States and make our voices heard.

“You are not responsible for the past, but insofar as you do nothing, you are complicit in the present created by it.” ~Jonathan R. Miller

How Do We Get Involved?

It is our responsibility, our DUTY to know about the effects and ramifications any order holds. We can no longer plead ignorance and think because this doesn’t directly pertain to us, it isn’t a big deal, because the truth is, this does pertain to us. These are our neighbors, our friends, our doctors, our teachers and everyone else who make up the communities where we live.

Education Is Important

The first thing we need to do is educate ourselves. Many of us are unaware of the damage being done with the newly signed executive orders. We see headlines on our Facebook feed and hit ‘share,’ without even reading the original article, checking the facts or even the date it was published. Doing our research is critical.

Keep up to date with the news and follow more than one source. YouTube is a great research tool. There you can hear the actual quotes from the source and not someone’s interpretation of the quote.

Be Empathetic 

Let’s be the people we claim to be when having conversations. Instead of listening to respond, try listening to understand.  How would we feel if these events impacted our family?  If we were to arrive at our destination after completing months of vetting, only to be separated from our spouse, our children or worse… sent back from where we came?  Wouldn’t we hope someone would stand up and fight for us? These families are not so different than we are.  We all want a safe place to lay our head and place where we can raise our children and give them every opportunity for success.

Respect Others 

Respect others based on their character and their actions.  Do not judge them based on the country they are from, the religion they’ve chosen, how they identify themselves or even the political party they choose. This doesn’t mean you have to see eye to eye on everything. Remember, it is possible to disagree and still be respectful.

Look for opportunities to get involved

  • Call & Write – Your elected officials.
  • Speak Up – When you see injustice.
  • March, Rally, & Volunteer – Your local news stations, newspaper and social media feeds can alert you to scheduled events.

 

Do SOMETHING!

Find your cause and do your part.

We can no longer sit back and blindly say these are political issues. This has little to do with political views or party lines, although there are many out there who will make it about that.

Remember this has to do with humankind.

People like you and me who have made a home here and are being prevented from coming back or are now living in fear of being removed.

I remember reading somewhere that we all come into this world loving, but we are taught to hate.   Now more than ever we need to show love to people everywhere.

Take A Chance

In a commencement speech given by Jim Carrey a couple of years ago, he said, ““Take a chance on faith. Not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire and faith leaps over it.”

But I realize now that sometimes, we have to walk through the fire, side by side, arm in arm to make our voices heard.

So keep marching, keep protesting, keep using your voices to break down the walls of division and hate.  Let the past make us better, not bitter.

Because the truth is if we really want to have peace and stability it won’t happen as long as we don’t fight for the vulnerable and the oppressed.

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