Monday, January 30, 2017

It’s about kindness

This is about kindness, not politics. It’s about being human and loving others, not religion.

President Trump, not someone I am a fan of whatsoever, has put into effect an executive order that affects every.single.person in this country whether you think it does or not. 

I’m surprised this requires reminding, but this country was founded and built on the backs of those who came here from elsewhere – immigrants, refugees fleeing countries where they were no longer free to believe in their religion of choice or to practice their preferred profession or to love the people closest to them. MY family is here because they were granted entry into this country through Elis Island. YOUR family is here because they were granted entry.

I can guarantee that you ARE affected by this information not just from a family history standpoint but from a your-life-today standpoint. If you went to college, you surely had many classmates who were first generation citizens or many who came here on student visas, whose parents fought hard to come to the United States to give their children a life that wasn’t possible in the country where they were born, I was dorm-mates with several individuals who earned their green cards before we graduated. Those people, those colleauges, they were (are) the most patriotic, loyal citizens I’ve ever known. 

Your doctor, your pharmacist, the person who helped to engineer the bridge you drive over every day to work or school, the scientist who helped to create the medication you take on a daily basis, the educator who helped to mold your career, the owner of your favorite restaurant, the individual who provides translation services for the military helping to prevent actual terrorist attacks – SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE are here, working and living alongside us every single day in ways you would never realize that were born in other countries.

Some of the smartest, most amazing human beings are here from somewhere else as LEGAL CITIZENS – they came here and PROVED that they were WORTHY of being United States citizens – something none of us who were privliged enough to be born here were forced to do.

Can you imagine having to leave the country because there was a death in your family, or a wedding to be celebrated, or your job required you to travel outside of the US – leaving your home, family and life behind for (what should have been a finite) time period, only to be REFUSED access back into the country of which you are a LEGAL CITIZEN? Or having to undergo, as was amended “secondary screening, but everything else will be normal.”

It truly is not normal for someone to be required to further prove that they are, in fact, citizens of this country and justified to return to THEIR HOME or to require an immigration lawyer before traveling. What about a family who, fleeing horrors I can’t even let myself imagine, after two years of vetting and proving they are worthy to come into this country is denied entry – on the day they had looked forward to for years – because of their religion and where they were, unfortunately, born? This is happening.

NOTHING about this makes sense. Nothing about this represents what this country was founded upon. If additional security measures should be imparted in specific circumstances so be it – I’m not here to debate that – but this goes WAY beyond anything that has been done before as far as my research tells me.

There are a whole host of other issues and bills and executive orders in the works or that have occured in the past 10 days that are so extreme we should all be consulting our history books alongside a calendar to make sure this isn’t the 1930s – but again, I am really not wanting to debate that – if you want to talk about it, email me.

Here’s what I AM saying –Stand up for what you believe in, peacefully (but not unrelentingly, if you are so moved). If you have facts, share them in a way that helps to educate and not demean others – we each have an opinion and that is wonderful – but unbiased facts do stand alone at the end of the day.

However, remember that during this incredibly difficult and hard to understand time, a time where so many of us are left baffled, angry, hurt, confused and up to our eyeballs in research trying to figure out what the hell is happening in our country – we all need to make a little extra effort to put out kindness, love and genuine action wherever and however possible into the universe. You have no idea what the person next to you is experiencing (every day, regardless of political happenings or otherwise) – be nice, hold the door, smile, remember that actions speak louder than words.

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