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Heroes and Helpers

June 18, 2018

 

"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say, 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."  - Fred Rogers

 

Right now, in the United States, the government is inflicting an atrocity on immigrants, the likes of which we have only seen during the worst in our collective human histories.  Along the southern border, government agents are tearing apart families, taking children away from their parents and caregivers, and placing them in modern day concentration camps. As much as I would like to close my eyes and live life in the happiest, carefree way possible, I know I cannot turn away when my government is caging children. Every sentence, every word, I am having to type between tears and gasping for breath. I am not here to convince anyone that this is unequivocally wrong, but to beg, plead, urge those who already know in their hearts that this is wrong to take action.

 

Imagine a child that you love: it could be a friend's or your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or even yourself when you were young. Now imagine you've escaped some horrible reality, holding onto that child that you love who is trusting you keep them safe. You make it to a land that claims that though they stole this country from indigenous peoples, that is okay, because they have made the country a refuge for those seeking the freedom of a new life away from oppressive regime, only to have that child ripped from your arms. Imagine this child has no bed in which to sleep, and no blankets for comfort, only mylar ones meant for emergencies. Imagine this child not having the proper care to flourish mentally or emotionally, imagine the child you love feeling boredom and anger and fear without the proper tools to navigate away from those emotions. Imagine this child growing up, suffering from PTSD and committing suicide because living is more painful than death could ever be, because life in a country where healthcare, especially mental healthcare, is essentially inaccessible to those under a certain tax bracket, is not worth drawing another breath.

 

Now imagine you have the power to stop this from happening.

 

Congratulations! You do. I can understand that you feel there is nothing you can do, I spent an entire night crying that I could do nothing to help, wishing that the Punisher existed so that he could go destroy everyone who even thought that this would be okay.  The first thing you can do is read as much as you can about the situation. Then you cry, cry your entire heart out and drown in those tears. But don't stay under, you resurface to breathe and be grateful that you are not the one in a cage. Then feel the guilt that should well up within you that you have the life and comfort and privilege that you do, and you use it! You toss away your comfort and  take what guilt and privilege and rage you have and pour it into at least one action. Share their story, go to a rally, sign a petition, write or e-mail or call your representatives. I know even thinking about this is emotionally exhausting, so if you do even one thing to help these children and the parents who love them, I am proud of you! Do one thing, and rest, but when your heart is strong enough again, please continue taking action until the United State government stops this.

 

My very first action was signing the ACLU's petition to the Secretary of Homeland Security to stop separating children from their families. Typing this post and sharing it with you is my second. I already know I have to reset my heart to strength again before even attempting my third, but I promise you there will be a third. Until then I'll take another page from Fred Rogers and look for the helpers - I hope I see you among them. 

 

 

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