The refugee crisis can feel so far away, a migration of tens of thousands that’s happening an entire ocean away in a place that I have never been to, and probably will never go to. It affects me deeply however from an existential perspective, as I feel the pain and desperation of the victims today, and the potential change of attitude later. Let me explain.
We wake up every morning with the drive to survive. Yes, that’s right. Fundamentally, our efforts to get to work or tend to the kids translate into a push forward, a push for survival. Imagine if it wasn’t this simple?
These gentle people are being forced, not just out of their homes, but out of their country, to a place filled with uncertainty: geographically, linguistically, socially, legally and politically. As a result of their desperation to protect their children, they are disregarding their weariness from lack of sleep and from hunger, and are walking- yes walking- to another country, facing a potentially hostile environment in order to escape one. The conviction to save one’s family must be earth moving to get to that mental place of resolve. In comparison, I live a spoiled, self serving life, despite my simple means.
Ironically, this same migration of innocents is creating a division among the Muslim society that I ponder the implications of. Suddenly, the perception of war isn’t implicitly “Islam” against “Non-Islam” it’s perpetrators against victims, a more accurate dynamic of the many conflicts that have existed since the beginning of time. And as these earnest people assimilate into western culture, they will alter the perception of the non-Muslim world, changing how we define each other forever.
So, beyond the hatred, beyond the desperation and starvation, and beyond the violence, there may be something promising at the other end of time, and I hope and pray this comes to fruition.