The Sailor's Oath
While we have been enjoying our vacation in Greece, I am very mindful of what has been happening very close by, in fact, right on these very shores and on islands that are only a stone's throw away.
Lives have been lost and a huge migration is taking place, Syrians escaping a life of suffering and ruin.
There is much debate about where they should go, which countries are being welcoming, and which are not.
I am heartened to learn that some countries are doing great things, and that it is within their ability to do so. I don't know what is within my own ability, but I will say this - I have no tolerance for anyone who might breathe a word of "Go back where you came from".
I received an email the other day, speaking of a country that apparently is revoking their policy of multiculturalism, claiming it has damaged their own country's values to allow others to build on their own culture. It was suggested that I forward the email to all of my friends. Instead, it went in the trash.
In Rome, we met someone who spoke of how she was a police officer back home in Canada, and she had asked a Roman Police Officer why they allowed 'such garbage' to be on their streets. She was not referring to actual garbage, but to PEOPLE, and at first, we were not on track with where she was heading. The conversation soon ended and we went away, shaking our heads. (The Officer's response to her though, was fantastic: "It is the Pope's edict that we must show compassion".)
Did you know that a Sailor's Oath requires them to assist and save anyone on the seas that is in peril? Some fishermen are refusing to get in their boats, because they are afraid they will see someone that needs to be rescued, and they will be bound to do it. I cannot believe how our minds have become twisted to such a degree - where is the value that should be placed on all human life?
I wish the world had no borders and that we could equalize so much more. I think I am a bleeding heart, as I wish that I could help everyone. I remember that my own roots once came to a new country, and that it was harder than anything to start over.
These people are fleeing absolute destruction and devastation. Yet we don't want them because of our own xenophobia. I have more compassion for this situation than I would for someone who refuses to work, when they are able bodied, choosing instead to collect welfare.
Our world is a very complicated place. While we can celebrate our advancement in so many ways, and appreciate art, beauty, music, engineering, science, and more, we have learned little in the ways of truly seeing the person behind the skin or the religion, because we are afraid.
Bravo to Germany, for finding a way to bring 500,000 refugees into their country. I admire the woman who, as Chancellor, can stand up and offer this , amidst criticism from within her own people. More Leaders are needed, to follow this example.
What can we really do? WE can act kindly even with only a smile, to those that we encounter.