Refugees are so close to my heart these days. I think you have to care, if you’ve ever traveled. When you know so well the feeling of being in a foreign place. When you are surrounded by only the unfamiliar, and nothing but strangers. It is difficult and trying, to find your footing. It can be overwhelming and heartbreaking, and at times you think you will be unable, at last, to bear the challenges you face.
If you know my story at all, you know that I have been graciously fortunate time and again to have connections who have helped me in ways I cannot even begin to count (and possibly you have been part of that amazing network of humans at some time or another). Strangers across the globe have opened their homes to me, given me directions, given me lifts, invited me to share meals with them, welcomed me into their community and introduced me to their friends, helped me find a job, invited me to have a coffee, helped me find a home, and treated me as a dear friend or close family.
I just cannot emphasize how heartening it is, how absolutely life changing it is to have people show up for you and offer to be there in very small and in very large ways. Especially when you are so far from everything you know.
And I am merely a traveler trying to experience the world. Whereas refugees are, by definition, people who have been forced to leave their homeland due to severe hardships. I can’t imagine how it must feel to leave your home not by choice, but by necessity, in order to continue just to live. I can’t comprehend how difficult it must feel to find yourself in a foreign land, surrounded by the unfamiliar, after escaping something certainly horrific and tragic. And in addition, unlike what I have experienced, many refugees find themselves unwanted, judged, and uncared for. It must feel so hopeless. My heart is, solidly, with every human who has had to leave their precious home behind.
I think platforms such as this are incredible, and I hope to participate as soon as I am capable. In the meantime, let’s all maybe try to take the time to understand what is happening to those around us. Hear their stories before making judgements. I think it’s important to love and care for any human who crosses your path. But particularly those who aren’t currently in a position to care for themselves. These people need a community to welcome them in. I know that includes me. Maybe it includes you, too?
More love and understanding, always.