Essays

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Refugees Are Us

We – each of us, every one of us – must hear their desperate silence; for refugees are not simply victims, fitting the easy compartments of our sympathy as we pay too vacant attention to this newspaper column or that television segment and then move on.

Refugees are us, flesh and blood, bone and muscle. They are family and life and hope  –  not numbers, here or there, in Africa or Asia, today or tomorrow, unknown as individuals. They are you and I, here in this very moment, assaulted by disaster or circumstance or evil beyond any possible control of theirs.

They walk to avoid a closer death, carrying whatever it is the gods have left them: a child, some rags around their waist, a pot for the dim chance of cooking. 

Do not we, the safe, the fed, the home blessed, do not we the educated, the rich, the informed have a profound responsibility to act, however, wherever, in whatever way we can? Is this not an immediate need? Aren’t we denying, even sacrificing, our own humanity by not rescuing theirs?

Here are three ways to begin:

 

           – Tony Balis