Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Right Thing

I generally shy away from publicly stating my political beliefs.  I am pretty open about my religious beliefs, but for some reason I don't like to participate in conversations about politics on open internet forums.  But I can't stop thinking about some recent events, and I don't know, maybe you have too?  I don't claim to have the right answer, or to know exactly what we should do, but I need to process my thoughts and there's nothing quite like writing for sorting out what you are thinking.

First of all, perhaps you've heard what happened in Beirut, and what Adel Termos did?  Another article reporting the story, here.

I read about Adel and his sacrifice and I feel good inside, about the decency, the absolute heroism left in some of humanity.  But then, I turn around and I see news reports of states here in the U.S. making the decisions about opening their borders or not, governors taking one position or another about harboring refugees.

I read through the arguments for each side, and I think of Adel Termos. I think of what I have read about the refugee camps in Germany and France, the conditions there and the suffering the people are still enduring even after escaping their war ridden country.  I appreciate the idea that it would be an ideal situation for terrorists to send in sleeper agents who could then put themselves in prime positions to attack our communities, our families, our way of life.

But then I think of Adel Termos.  He saw someone coming with intent to hurt, kill, destroy.  He saw past that to the crowds, the women, the children, the elderly, and the men about their morning business.  He saw life and he knew he had to protect it.  In a matter of just moments his life was over but he had preserved so much.

We have an opportunity now to look out at crowds who are not currently celebrating life, they are enduring it, in harsh, horrible, conditions that we would scarce believe still exist in our modern, comfy world.  When you sit down to watch your netflix, on your soft couch, with your bowl of chips, while your dinner cooks in the oven with food prepared from your fridge, and your central heating kicks on, try to imagine what it is like for these people who haven't seen fresh food in too long, and who haven't had the option of a real toilet in far far too long, and ask yourself what you are protecting by keeping these people out?

You are keeping out cold, hungry children, cold, hungry grandparents, cold, hungry mothers and fathers and yes maybe, just maybe someone evil who would want to hurt us.  But I keep going back to the image of Adel Termos, and what he must have seen in his last moments.

He did not value his own life more than that of the lives of the people in the crowds beyond.  Why do we value our own lives so much higher than those of the refugees?

Again, I don't know exactly what the right thing to do is, but I do know that I have blankets to spare, and food in my pantry to spare, and change in my pocket and in my wallet.  (Even in my couch cushions.)  I know that there is space in my heart for these people to come here, and that I would personally be willing to dig a little deeper in my life to find room for people who have absolutely nothing.

Am I truly alone in this?

Someone just sent me the link to this, so I know I will be donating to the humanitarian aid.  I wish there was something more personal I could do, too though, you know?