“Grande, iced, soy, caramel macchiato,” I happily exclaimed as I ordered a drink this morning. I enjoyed every sip of that drink while walking my 7-month-old in his stroller.
Fast-forward 13 hours later. I am reading the daily news and I feel like I’m punched in the gut. This week I’ve read articles each day on the refugee crisis and the current death toll that’s reaching 1,000 people. Each night I think, what can I write about this? What could I say? Nothing will take away the pain these families are feeling (of those who even know by this point that their family members didn’t make it – I’m sure many do not yet know). Nothing I type will change the political environment surrounding this crisis. So, each night I went to bed and awoke the next morning. Then tonight’s article happened.
And now I can’t sleep. And I sit here wondering, “why did I order that stupid Starbucks!?!” (Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bash against the company – obviously I buy their products.) But how can I walk around and sip on a fancy drink while others are suffering and dying? It (disgustingly) seems so easy to put the images and words from today’s news out of our minds and to go about our day of sunshine and roses. But to me, that seems so wrong.
Have we become so desensitized that we can read/watch such events and they not hit deep in our gut? Is it because it is “over there” and not “over here”? Is it because it’s “them” and not “us”? Is it because we do not know someone directly impacted? Yet I find myself asking, how is it NOT directly impacting ALL of us? To know that this is happening in OUR world. To know that people are dying every day. To know someone lost their child, or several of them. To know that a husband left his family to try and find a safe home for them, and now he’s dead. To know a mother watched helplessly and in agony as her child died. To know a family member died trying to save the rest of the family by journeying across the sea. How does this NOT affect all of us???
I can’t sleep.
I want to go hold my son and rock him for hours, knowing that he is safe in my arms for that moment. I want to wake up my husband and tell him that I love him and I never want him to leave our side, no matter the hardships we might face as a family. I want to call my mom and thank her for protecting me as a child. I want to say a prayer, thanking God for the life I have lived thus far because the difficulties now seem oh so small.
I can’t sleep. I’m sitting here safe and sound in a nice home that has all working utilities, clean running water and plenty of food in the kitchen.
I look at these numbers and I think, “ya, that’s nice.” So our country has admitted millions of refugees over the years (I hope they were able to start a happy and successful new life in America), but that doesn’t seem like enough. And I don’t, personally, think that relocating people all around the world is going to stop the problems that lead to this crisis to begin with.
And with all of this happening all across the world, it doesn’t feel right to simply take a stroll and sip on my fancy drink. It doesn’t feel like enough to help through volunteering with the refugee population that is being resettled in the city where I reside. There must be something more. I have to find something more. I refuse to walk around and be numb to what I see/hear and to pretend like the refugee crisis will not have an impact on my own life. And until I’ve figured out my next step, I’m going to just pick up a glass of tap water. After all, many people around the world are not even lucky enough to do that.
So let’s hear it. What are you doing to help? What have you been reflecting on? Have you become numb to the events around the world? Are you helping to bring relief/aid in some way? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Ahmeli… that society doesn’t become even more desensitized.
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