So many questions that cannot be answered, so much hurt, and so much pain, in the world. I could not answer my son’s questions last night. I always had answers for him, but not last night; last night I couldn’t. He asked a very difficult question this time, and he always challenges you into thinking deeply before answering his questions, but this question was nearly impossible to answer. “Mom we had to do a research for school today and do you know what some people are doing to the Syrian refugees? They closing the borders mom, they letting little children die. How is that possible? Seriously mom, letting people with children sleep outside in the cold and they don’t want to let them in their countries? Why are they doing this to little children? Why? And, did you hear that they putting a razor-wire fence along the border….” That’s when I shout out, “Stop, Stop Jon, please stop. I can’t hear this anymore. I know all about this, so please, please….” And I could not even find words to finish my sentence because there is so much pain. You start feeling anxious when you start realizing that humans do this to their fellow humans.
This Syrian refugee crises and how they are being treated by some specific countries and specific groups of people makes you lose faith in humanity at some point. All this refugee crises hit home for me, as it reminded me of 1990’s exodus of people fleeing Albania. Many people risked their lives and their children’s lives for a better life, and a better future. They fled the communist regime, and it was the beginning of a new era for those who left Albania and for those who were left behind. Change surely happened for better in Albania, but not without the sacrifices of brave souls, of those who made it to the other countries and of those who lost their lives in that journey. I believe that was the first time Europe was flooded by refugees and they handled it very well at that time. Even though I could not find the courage to leave Albania in 1990, I sure was thankful to European countries for helping my brothers and sisters and their little children who made it to Greece, Italy, Germany and Austria.
So, why would Europe feel squirming under the pressure of Syrian refugees? It’s interesting how one blogger here raised the point on this matter. I recommend you check out his blog Great Conversations, sometimes. So he derives that it could be the fact that culture and religion that Syrian refugees bring with them into European countries are too strong. And from this point of view if Europe would act like good Christians they must help these people but this may open the door for more trouble in clashing together two strong cultures and religions. On the other hand if Europe abandons Christian morality of helping others and therefore decides to close the doors to Syrian refugees then this would not feel right based on their norms and Christian ethic of “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies.” Blogger raises the question at the end “What should Europe do?” to which I answered, “What should Europe do? Europe is indeed dealing with humans that need help, so looking from a humanitarian perspective, they should help. However, if Europe identifies itself with culture and religion, then another culture and religion will be considered invasion. In that case Europe will resist. So the questions becomes, Should Europe identify itself as a group of happy nations made of real people or should Europe identify itself with abstract concepts of culture and religion? Now the answer is clear, I think.”
So, you see I cannot just tell my son, well there are bad people out there, that are doing these things to refugees, because this is not what I teach my son. I do not teach him to judge the world but to love humans. So, how can he live in this cruel world, and still survive? What kind of mother am I for allowing my son to believe in naive concepts of loving one another, loving the bully at his school and so on and so on? No, absolutely not. I am not going to tell my son that there are bad people out there, which are doing bad things to their fellow humans because I do not see bad people, I see confused people; confused with ideas of religion, culture, traditions, and stereotyping. No, I have a better plan. I am planning to teach my children what I already know myself. That is, How to distinguish between the following four cases: (1) When to face the bully with love, (2) when to actually stand up to bullies and tell them their place, (3) when to run away from them without looking back, and (4) when to know that there is no escape and what to do then, and still win. So, four different situations, four different approaches. I have taught my son only the first one, to love. It is about time now to learn the ugly truth that there are bad things happening, confused or not confused, people are hurting one another and we have to learn to deal with it. To be continued….