“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” – Mother Theresa
We are one world. As a child growing up, I wondered how something as horrific as the holocaust could happen while people throughout the world went on with their lives, completely unaware of what was happening (until of course they did, by that point how many millions were dead). We’ve been made aware countless times by the media over the past few years of the growing threat of ISIS. The growing political unrest between the Syrian regime and ISIS and its impact on people in the region has been so front and center, that to feign ignorance at this point seems to be deliberate or callous. In addition to the constant coverage of ISIS and warnings that we continue to ignore, we have been made aware of the ruthless regime of Bashar al-Assad and his crimes against humanity. In April of this year on 60 minutes, Scott Pelley reported the full story of the 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria that killed an estimated 1,400 civilians, including countless women and children (it’s a must-watch episode if you missed it, so click the link to view). As Eli Wiesel said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”. We cannot profess ourselves to be loving, caring human beings, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers when we are so indifferent to the suffering happening around the rest of the world. We can no longer allow indifference or shrugging of shoulders or escapist attitudes that if we don’t think about it, it will go away. Their problem is rapidly becoming our problem. For those paying attention, the media coverage of the sarin gas attack was the “aha” moment I referred to above. The “we’ve got to pay attention and help these people” moment. We just can’t let history repeat itself. The refugees pouring into Europe need our help and we’ve got to get it right this time. We can’t see the evidence and hear the stories and pretend that we don’t hear or that we don’t see. That it’s not polite dinnertime conversation to acknowledge what’s happening and actually discuss it or try to think of solutions. Now matter how far away and distant these lands may seem, not matter how different we may think these people are from us – they aren’t. When people are fleeing terror, we need to help them find refuge and we must all join in the fight. I lived through 9/11 in NYC and it can’t happen again. As Mother Theresa said, “we belong to each other”. For those who will say, we must focus on problems at home, we must do that too. But to be human is to care and to extend a helping hand, even when it’s across an ocean or many oceans.
Goodness will prevail. It always does in the end. Sending peace to Paris and throughout the world. ~Melissa Hawks