OUR MORAL IMPERATIVES

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Emma Lazarus

To relieve misery -- wherever, whenever

Many of us believe that as thinking and compassionate people -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Deists, Taoists, all religions and atheists -- we each and all have an urgent moral duty to rise to the challenge of relieving misery, wherever it may be.  And so we are of course dedicated to directly or indirectly intervene for a person who is sick or suffering, or who is hungry or without shelter.  Refugees often experience ALL of those miseries, and so helplessly due to climate change, drastic political upheaval, wars and disasters, huge events and factors over which they have no control. 

 

And after all -- How did most of us arrive in the US? 

Once upon a time, many years ago, someone reached out to help one of your ancestors arrive here.  That person who helped probably also had been themselves a refugee, an immigrant, or a stranger.  Perhaps they remembered what it was like to leave their home for a new land and to need help, so they stretched out their hands in welcome, helping your ancestors arrive and settle and thrive here.

There has never been a time when we haven't had refugees or migrations in the world -- we are challenged to find the compassionate, humane response to help all struggling peoples.  Today we face the largest worldwide migrations of people ever known. 

Our local groups are currently trying to help those in need, those who are struggling to find a new home, a new country, and a safe place to raise their family and live. 

 

there is a silver lining!

And wonderfully, refugees who are relocated into their new home countries most often add tremendous ambition, sophisticated skill sets, their dedication of gratitude and hard work, and also weave into our lives the magnificent richness of their cultural diversity.  In other words - what's not to like about that!?

our new reality - Global forced displacement

From The National Geographic Magazine:

"The desperate men, women, and children flooding into Europe from the Middle East and Africa are not the only people moving along ever-shifting and dangerous migration routes.

Last year [2016] saw the highest levels of global forced displacement on record—59.5 million individuals left their homes in 2014 due to “persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations” according to the United Nations. That's 8.3 million more people than the year before.

Maps below courtesy of National Geographic.

Now Europe’s governments are straining as hundreds of thousands more have been making the journey this year. A majority are from war-ravaged Syria, risking treacherous waters and unscrupulous smugglers as they push north for a better and safer life.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner, declared in June."

Seen on Lafayette Street, New York City, NY

Seen on Lafayette Street, New York City, NY