How great is your want?
I've been reflecting, with some amount of dismay and horror, on the events of the past few days. The immigrant caravan that arrived at the US border to request asylum being refused entry as the border was shut down, then responding in panic as they felt their chances at a new life were going to be completely unattainable.
First, let me say this, I am no advocate of violence, however, I do understand the fear factor when you are so close and realize that something you want may suddenly be out of reach and out of your control. While I have never been denied something like my freedom, I have had physical limitations placed upon me that have completely denied my ability to do something that I have desperately wanted and desired. The frustration is infuriating. There is nothing you can do. Depression, meanness, hatred, jealousy, grief - all present; and all of these emotions for something not nearly as life-changing as obtaining a fresh chance at a new life away from oppression and grief that I'm sure most of us could never understand.
With all that said I try to understand, and maybe slightly comprehend, the lashing out, the rock throwing, the desperate dash for the border and the subsequent retaliation that came from that reaction.
As I was getting ready to go to work this morning I took a warm shower, washed my hair, used soap, shampoo, conditioner, a clean towel, put on clean clothes, used my blowdryer, and warmed my toes by my dog who had hunkered down in front of the heat vent next to me in the bathroom. I thought about those people who had given up perhaps this very same scenario to pursue a safer, better place. I almost felt ashamed to be doing what I was doing - just doing what I did every morning!
Then the parallel hit me:
I opened my tablet and looked through the pictures of Black Friday shoppers, shoving their way, pushing, running, to get what they wanted so badly. Where was the tear gas? Where was security? No, they were just allowed to run rough-shod over whomever to get to that ONE thing that they wanted - TV? Blue-ray? Gaming system? No one stopped them, no one denied them, they reached their goal (some of them) then paid and left the store. Wait...really? You had to BE THERE to get that one thing you wanted? You had to push and shove and work and maybe even run??
I opened my tablet and looked through the pictures of the immigrants on Sunday, shoving their way, pushing, running, to get what they wanted so badly. Tear gas. Security. They were not allowed to run rough-shod over the border to get to that ONE thing they wanted - freedom? Happiness? Quiet, violence-free life? They were stopped, denied, and none (that moment) reached their goal to apply for asylum and leave a horrible place behind. Wait...really? They have to BE THERE to get that one thing they want? They had to push and shove and work and maybe even run??
My stomach dropped - there is nothing I can do but watch and hope that the law will be followed and those who come will be granted the time and ability to make application for the thing they want so much, so desperately that they would walk thousands of miles, leave behind everything they know and so many people that they love to obtain that one thing.
It makes black Friday a farce, a twisted parallel in my comfortable, white, middle-class, life.
Perhaps I am too sympathetic, but I would rather be accused of loving and desiring the well-being of others too much than being called out as one who denied someone in need. Why can't we all just follow the rules? Allow others to follow them - how is it our right to deny someone when they are only attempting to go through the process that has been laid out before them?
I do not have answers, I can't even come up with a good way to be of help - which is also incredibly frustrating! All I can do is ask for the same patience and fairness that I have been shown for most of my life. Avoid the violence, apply the law, alleviate suffering, allow for time, assure that all things will be done in fairness and love, accept the outcome and move forward.
So again I ask, how great is your want?
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