Saturday, April 15, 2006

Let Go of Your Fear

I just had a passionately heated discussion with my oldest daughter about the immigration policy and a walkout that occurred at her high school yesterday. She chose to stay seated and that dissapointed me. I feel very passionately about treating all beings humanely and I don't believe dark skinned people in this country always are. Weather it be illegal immigration of mexicans or poverty in the south, I think there is a lot of fear that explains why the white majority tends to lean the wrong way on social issues. In the case of the discussion with my daughter, she said that she "didn't know enough to take a social stand on this issue". I said, whats to know. It's about aknowledging your neighbor, whether they are a "legal citizen" or not, they are fellow human beings and deserve the same rights that were handed to you at birth. People who leave their homes, families, churches, traditions, children, parents, risk their lives, pay exorbinant amounts of money and knowingly subject themselves to pain, anguish, humiliation and potentially, death are not "just walking across the boarder". There is nothing pleasant that drives these people to risk so much. So why do we not treat them with the same care and amnesty as we would provide an eastern european seeking religious exile? Why do we make it so difficult to obtain legal entry? Have you ever investigated the proper channels for citizenship? Just to read and understand the laws and requirements requires a significant base of education, financial foundation for legal help, the ability to survive while you endure the months or years it takes to get to a place of action. For most people, coming here illegally is a last resort. A last, desparate struggle for survival, both for themselves and the family members left behind to wait and hope things will improve. Why would we knowingly be so cruel to turn away from this, and as a nation, state politically, that if you weren't lucky enough the be born here, strong enough to stand up for your rights, wealthy enough to get here legally, go home to your corrupt government, your wide division of social classes, your filthy, polluted air, your unsafe water, and your poverty. Maybe you will get lucky and get a job in a NAFTA inspired manufacturing plant where you can get a dollar an hour and no benefits. And then there is the argument, that if we make the twelve million "illegal" residents citizens, we will have to pay them living wages and how will we ever make a profit on strawberry farming again? Government subsidies. Hey, it's my experience that these people who live on the perifery of our society are some of the most admirable, honest, hardworking, family oriented, trustworthy, reliable, unselfish people I know. They demonstrate more integrity with the risks they take for the small gains they receive than most native citizens of this country would ever do. I hope anyone who reads this will let go of their fear that by helping another person by aknowledging that they belong in America as much as you or I do, that you will not be shorted, or left with less opportunity. There is abundance when you live in gratitude and kindness. There is shortage in the fear of not enough.

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