Calm down. Before you grab a pitchfork hear me out. I’m not saying American boarders should be wide open to everyone. I’m saying our minds should be!
Imagine for me, you go to the grocery store and everyone stares at you. Everywhere you look, there is no one dressed like you. No one with skin that looks like yours. People seem afraid of you. They fear the same people you fear, but you know they are wondering if you are what they are afraid of! The same people you feared SO MUCH that you left everything you’ve ever known and set out for a new humble beginning somewhere else with very little resources. The same people you fled from for your life and the life of your children. Imagine you can’t even speak the language everyone else speaks where you’re to make your new beginning. You’re surrounded by an entirely different culture. You’re beyond thankful to be “safe” and alive, but you are facing a whole new host of problems, dilemmas, and concerns. You’re one of the “lucky ones” who got the chance to be resettled. In a new culture, on your own to navigate a new world. A world full of different dangers. Imagine you can NEVER go home. This is your home now and there is no turning back.
There are refugees in many parts of America, and they need your help. There are so many ways you can help and volunteer. They need people to help them learn some basic English, navigate transportation, get bus passes, and just navigate our culture. What better way to get to know your neighbors than to GET TO KNOW THEM!
I’m not saying I don’t understand fear. I’m not saying we should not know who is in this country. Heck, I think it’s pretty clear that we aren’t doing the best job of keeping track of high risk individuals who are born here. I’m saying I don’t believe most refugees are a risk. I’m saying if there is a settlement near you, broadening your horizons is usually a good thing.
There are endless opportunities to help, check out some sources below:
For those near the Pittsburgh area: