I wasn’t sure what to post for yesterday’s thought-provoking post so I didn’t post at all. I remembered this video I saw on social media and decided to share it with you. I think as a society we are desensitized. We are used to seeing sadness, brokenness, hurt, pain, and suffering on television. So much so, that we forget the things we see in the news are about real people. Immigration is a heated topic and people have very strong opinions about it on both sides. This isn’t a black and white issue and I think the negative aspects get talked about more often than the other side of immigration. The sad thing is, I believe the side that isn’t talked about is the more important and most common part of immigration.
Immigrants are portrayed in a negative light as if the majority are criminals or they’re taking advantage of government sponsored benefits. Immigrant has also become synonymous with Mexican but immigrants come in many colors and nationalities. Many pay taxes, contribute to their community, live honest, law-abiding, and hard-working lives. The reality is most people don’t want to be displaced from their homeland. That’s where their families are from, their homes, lives, and ties are. People immigrating in large numbers is usually due to adverse conditions in their environment. War, drugs, violence, illness, and extreme poverty are all contributing factors that make people risk their lives in search of a better life. Don’t be fooled to think people just pack up and leave everything behind one day just skipping their turn in line to go legally and have a job and home waiting for them. They risk their lives in hopes of the opportunity to make their life better and not everyone gets that chance. Some lose their lives in the process, others are detained, taken advantage of, or kidnapped.
I think we need to learn to be more empathetic, embrace people, get to know their story, and be thankful that we aren’t fleeing our homeland in search of a better life. Could you imagine having to leave everyone behind and having the pressure of succeeding so that you could send money back to your family? It’s scary to risk your life the way immigrants do. It’s lonely to live in a place that you don’t know anyone and have to figure everything out on your own. They get taken advantage of, mistreated, aren’t appreciated, looked down upon, and their lives aren’t valued the same way others are.
I want to challenge you to imagine what would drive someone to leave it all behind the next time you come across someone you think might be an immigrant. I want to challenge you to be extra nice to that person, you don’t know what battle they are fighting or hardship they have. I want to challenge you to get to know them and their story. I’m willing to bet if you knew a little more about them, you’d realize what you see on the news about immigrants doesn’t apply to the vast majority.