The Refugee Situation, A Life Changing Event
Some life changing event occurs in the state of Washington and suddenly you and your family lose everything. You’re forced to walk from the port of Seattle to to Arizona as refugees.
With you is your 67 year old mother, your 42 year old wife, your two daughters who are 14 and 13. You also are forced to walk side by side with the entire City of Seattle, who are also now considered refugees.
Goodbye retirement, goodbye 401k, goodbye Subaru Forester hatchback with extra storage space. Goodbye 2100 sq ft Kirkland house, with the estimated value $565,000.00.
Your savings is gone, you had to leave everything behind, and Washington’s tech economy is collapsing around you everywhere you look.
You become acutely aware of your own feeble inability to control your own family’s fate. Value’s are called into question on a second by second basis… Goodbye politics, goodbye clever church, goodbye involved parenting… Your political party has collapsed, the people from your church have been disbanded – lost to the millions of other refugees who are walking right beside you.
How do you react?
How will you eat?
Where will you sleep?
You, your children, your wife and your mother are 100% dependent on the generosity of others, who don’t necessarily want to help you.
ARIZONA TO WYOMING
At the Arizona border, you find out that the state government has issued an executive order stating a zero tolerance for internal refugees and turns the entire City of Seattle away.
Once again, the situation is beyond your control… you are forced to walk, this time, you walk to Wyoming.
People die around you on a daily basis, people are getting sick. There are make shift medical check points along the way, but if you stop, you are in danger of losing your place in the migration. So you keep walking holding your mother up so she can continue despite her bad knees.
At the state border of Wyoming, the National Guard has posted a line of barricades and refuses to let you in. So, instead you’re forced to keep walking.
Your family has barely eaten and everyone looks gaunt and frail. You worry your mother isn’t going to make it to wherever you may end up.
ON TO MEXICO
Then you hear a rumor that a bordering country might allow you asylum. So, you begin to walk to the last place that will accept you… Mexico.
You were hoping for all the technological medical advances of the U.S., but it doesn’t seem realistic chance anymore because your own country does not want to bear the burden.
Along the way – your “community of outcasts” now have a black market economy. People steal food from each other, sell drugs to anesthetize their despair, and other activities begin to strike up within the horde, in controlled criminal bursts of mob violence and danger.
Some of the people who walk with you are hostile… and you catch some of the men wantonly leering at you and your family.
You find your self conflicted… torn, because you have no money – you make the decision to prostitute your wife and daughters, and even your mother, to people willing to pay you for it.
You sit and swallow your pride… but at least for once you and your family now can have a small amount of money to use for food.
Does that sound too extreme? Unfortunately, it’s not.
It’s happening in Syria and other refugee camps every day. You just simply won’t hear about it.
THE ABUNDANT REALITY
What is the truth of the American Dream?
We are bombarded with a culture that is transfixed on themselves. Everyone is an authority, everyone is important, yet we selectively give our time to images and media that capture our hearts, cause us to change our thinking – or simply appeal to a base versions of ourselves. I wrote this piece specifically because I know how different the reality of the refugee situation is, versus what is portrayed in popular U.S. media.
It is extremely important that people take a step back from their own life as an American consumer, and compassionately try to understand where refugees – people without homes – are exactly that: they are people from war torn countries that never had security in the first place. They are people without homes, people who used to be someone, people with routines, a standard of living, and with regular “things.” People with families – who now have nothing but reliance upon the people who don’t want them.