“Another boat with Refugees found capsized, 55 dead, many of them small children”. (News Headlines)
As I walked on one of the treadmills at my local gym today, focusing on my own body – how it felt, how I was breathing, making sure I was connected to myself – I had quite a realisation.
I have observed that there is a lot of fuss about refugees at the moment – in the media, on political agendas, basically everywhere you look. No big realisation perhaps, but this realisation came when I pondered upon the reception they are given; how we actually meet them?
There is this huge ‘problem’ (as some people are putting it) called refugees. We call them a problem before we even meet them. They flee from war, famine and many other forms of abuse. Many are already broken, sick, injured, or all of these. Many have been abused before, during and even after their plight: some raped and beaten, some have seen loved ones murdered, or drowned, and they have risked their lives (some many times over) to escape their tortured existence. They arrive most often in the West and are invariably subjected to hate, discrimination and further ‘mental’ torture when they are already in a state of total desperation.
It’s as though they are not humans, they are something else – a burden on us, a nuisance, a plague of unwanted debris – and not our responsibility. And we are told by politicians and other authorities that they come here and cause problems, they have no money so we have to support them, they are lazy, they are criminals, all tarred with the same brush; we are even told that many of them are supposedly ‘undercover terrorists’ that will try to kill us in the years to come.
And this is not a question of politics, e.g. of political parties saying “Yes” to 5000 more refugees when they know there is an election on the horizon, or saying “No” to the same question to catch the other end of the vote.
On considering this further I wondered – have we forgotten that we are all the same? And that despite our circumstance, no one person is better than another.
And I also wondered why we feel this way about refugees … particularly as not too many generations ago many of our families were refugees in one form or another.
We do not own this planet, though many think they do. We are all one global community so anything that happens on this planet is for us all to consider. We are all custodians of this planet – and this crisis of refugees is on our watch.
What if rather than the question “What should we do with them?” or “How can we send them back?” we might consider –
“What is truly going on here that in our so called modern age (with all the technology and infrastructure that we have) we have ‘refugees’?”
Surely with all the technological advances etc., human atrocities like refugees should be long since extinct?
How then can we work together as a global community to reframe this issue – more so as to offer the true support that is needed? And why is it that this problem is worsening by the day and yet many of us are watching as bystanders? Or seeing the harrowing pictures on the news yet are not feeling to speak up or act in some way?
I’m not raising this here so that we necessarily each drive down to our nearest port and collect and house every refugee (though that is an option), but so that we take a step back and look more deeply at what is going on. And if we do take a step back and ponder, we may just realise there are many ways to help; individually, as groups, organisations and governments, and that even the smallest things can move mountains as our collective creativity knows no bounds when we open up our hearts to these societal atrocities.
If we treated this as a community issue and worked on this together we might consider many options – it could be just by making one meal for one refugee or it could be taking a family into your home and treating them as your own family (as here on earth in truth we are just one big family). Or people of great wealth, companies, institutions, governments, with many homes or properties or resources, could provide “homes” (not just shelter) for several or many families. Every drop, from the tiniest kind word uttered from a place of love to the grandest action, will help the world become a better place for us all to live in, together.
If we stop to realise that together as a worldwide brotherhood we could act to make changes together, to meet these fellow equal human beings with compassion, with love, honesty and respect instead of the way we treat them now, perhaps they would no longer be the ‘problem’ we all fear.
What if the ‘refugees’ became an equal part of our society, as they all truly deserve to be, no longer mirroring the hate and mistrust we project onto them? And in this they could start to feel ‘safe’ again?
There have been refugees in society for many lifetimes. It is obvious here that the issue is not going away, but worsening, and that we haven’t as yet got to the root of the issue nor to the truth of a response.
Isn’t it time for us to consider this more deeply?
By Christopher Murphy, Kindergarten Assistant and Universal Medicine student, Drøbak, Norway
Corporate Social Responsibility – The State of Our Working World
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A True Role Model: Universal Medicine = Universal Responsibility
It shows a deep arrogance when we refuse to see others as equal. I seriously find it super cheeky the way some people talk about refuges, for it was not too long ago that many of our families were also refugees in one form or another.
We are one world one people -let us remember this and start to have compassion and understanding for our brothers from overseas.
It’s not so much that we ‘refuse to see others as equal’, it’s that we can’t. Our thoughts, viewpoints and beliefs are given to us dependent on our alignment. If we are aligned to a consciousness that wants us to think that we’re all separate human beings living isolated existences then chances are we’re gonna see refugees and people from other countries as different from us and even a threat. If we’re aligned to a consciousness that is impulsed by truth then there’s much more chance that we’ll view everyone as the collective melting pot of God. But we’re not choosing what we think, it’s being provided to us dependent on our alignment.
In this world of diversity, it appears that we tend to judge others by their ethnicity, their gender, their age and in this case their ‘status’ as refugees, but in our haste to judge “have we forgotten that we are all the same?” Peel back our skin and all else that we use to identify ourselves and we look like the person we have judged. All these ways of labelling another only add more separation to a world that is already divided by imaginary lines on the earth. We are one family; one humanity, so let’s begin to live as one and see what happens; after all, living in separation to one another definitely isn’t working.
I am often surprised when I hear people talk of ‘not letting them in ” and ‘not letting them have access to our health care’ and so on and so on – genuinely surprised as every part of me knows that the best and true thing to do is to open our hearts. All refugees need Love and compassion not judgement or condemnation.
I love this conversation and how it asks us to consider our connectedness rather than our differences. At no point does a child set out to be displaced, to live a life where they will be considered less than human. So what is it about the way we are living that takes our focus away from decency and respect and instead focuses on technological advancements to name but one of the many distractions?
It is so true Christopher… History tells us again and again what happens when we hold people as less. We are one and anything that says that this is not so must be exposed, revealed, brought to the light of day, and let go of.
The power of us working together as a global community is yet to be realised. Yet it is this precise unity that will supersede the disparity between us that falsely believes that we are separate to one another, as such the problem of one nation are for them to deal with. Truth is that disharmony in one apart of the world is disharmony for us all. For we cannot escape the fact the we are connected, all living in a pool of energy, and the quality of energy in which we live impacts all. Hence the power of us working together as a one community to address the disharmony together in order to restore the harmony we all equally and rightfully deserve to live.
The plight of refugees the world over shows how far away we are from moving as the one planetary family of human beings that we in truth are. And solutions do not go deep enough, they are but mere bandaids. We need to look deeper and examine how we treat each other, those we call our ‘nearest and dearest’ and where it all starts.
Because many refugees tend to come from war-torn and ravaged countries, it seems that there is typically a huge fear that somehow adopting them into your country will bring the same conflict with them; hence the usual unfair judgement that they are ‘terrorists in waiting’. But when one stops and feels into this situation a bit deeper that accusation and fear doesn’t even make sense, because the people trying to escape those wars are usually not the ones wanting to continue the fight, let alone bring it elsewhere. They just want to go back to living a normal life, typically. So this situation calls for some compassion and putting ourselves in the refugees shoes for a moment before we judge them and put up both figurative and physical walls.
That’s how you bring it / us home (!) practical responsible approach because we are all indefinitely involved. This is a global issue and Christopher gives us some principles we can follow .. there is much joy in opening your heart to another no matter where they have been or come from. When I have truly been there for another human being, even if it is small and especially if they need it, it does move mountains (beyond belief). I know to never underestimate the power of love — where true change is possible removing all self-identification in the exchange.
As these words claim “.. and that even the smallest things can move mountains as our collective creativity knows no bounds when we open up our hearts to these societal atrocities.” Working together will support more rapid change.
Where there is war there is a refugee crisis as anyone who is able would be crazy not to flee for their lives. One day it may be any of us. The people who oppose settling or even dealing with refugees may one day find themselves on the other end of the stick.
If we look over the course of history some choose to live in other countries, but most would have been because they are refugees, slaves or prisoners. We also know from history that when people experiencing difficulty are welcomed and supported to re-start their lives they enhance and give back to the community that has helped them and their family back on their feet. We are more and they are more for the experience. Isolating people and imprisoning people because they are refugees makes us all lesser for we miss out on building amazing connections with people that may look very different but we realise at the end of the day, there is no difference at all. Why is it that we see the difference, which is skin deep, and not what binds us, which is everything?
We still carry this warped perception of ‘us and them’, like they are something so different and so far away it allows us to look the other way when they need us most.
My life is certainly more richer and fuller with refugees in my life
Perhaps when we realise that we are all refugees from the true love of Brotherhood we would find our way home.
When we understand the true meaning of responsibility we will know how we are the creators of such hardships of life regardless of where they are occurring, and so it is our responsibility to support those in need so they too can live responsibly and lovingly with one another.
When we get over the fact that we are indeed all one people, one nation one world we may just see that we do not need any manmade borders.
‘“What is truly going on here that in our so called modern age (with all the technology and infrastructure that we have) we have ‘refugees’?”’ This question is the one that truly needs pondering on, very deeply. We have no advancement at all if humanity is still suffering at any level.
Having to leave your home to travel a dangerous journey to then potentially reach unfriendly shores is a brave thing to do. To uproot your family, leave your job, your neighbours, your friends, everything familiar for the safety of your life and for those who you love is a massive decision to make. Perhaps to admire the person who makes this decision is a starting point in seeing the humanity in everyone who is called a refugee.
We celebrate and marvel and the newest iPhone yet still have refugees and war and a list of ills longer than a toilet roll. If we did nothing but look at the ills we’d get depressed very quickly, but celebrating and focusing on objects will never make the ills go away. Connecting to ourselves and then others, now thats when things start to shift.
Refugees are all human beings just like us. And we should welcome them like fellow human beings, when they flee to our countries. And of course if there are terrorists among them, or refugees abusing their status for economic gain only, than people like that have to be sent back. But even those people can be warmly welcomed first as fellow human being.
Refugees are people who have been displaced from their country of origin because of atrocities that most of us have never and will never see in our day to day lives – and for this reason we really need to be more compassionate and understanding as we support them to assimilate into our society.
I work with refugees and I absolutely love them, I have learnt so much from them. I find it a real joy to connect and mix with others confirming my knowing that we are all the same – Love.
Instead of concentrating on our own patch as it where, we need to look afar to where problems are happening and to be on the front foot with new initiates and ideas that could help whole nations before it becomes too late and they feel they have no other choice then to move from their home place. We can play a role in offering what we know works.
“It’s as though they are not humans, they are something else – a burden on us, a nuisance, a plague of unwanted debris – and not our responsibility”, This was quite shocking to read but we can’t deny that this is the reality that faces so many refugees. How far have we strayed from true community and compassion for another in need that we can treat another human being so horrendously? If we were to return to living in community, in brotherhood, we would be able to offer so much support to the displaced members of our human family. From the littlest offering of a warm meal to the bigger offering of a bed to sleep in, every offer would come with the love and support of all, something that is so very urgently needed in this world where we are living in so much separation from our fellow man.
We start with opening our heart to the possibility of being the love that we are and then we live that love letting everyone we meet in and then and only then will we be able to successfully open our borders and be able to offer people a safe haven. It is up to each and everyone of us to take responsibility for what is happening
Perhaps it is not about whether a person is considered a refugee or not, but rather if they are considered a person, with a family, friends, a sense of humour, a liking to certain tastes, smells and textures. A person who dreams, sleeps and drinks water. A person whose aspirations go beyond finding shelter after displacement from their country. A person who can philosophise about life and see the bigger picture when it is called for. A person who has love in their heart for the people in their life. All of these qualities and many more are perhaps what needs to be considered and given respect for dignity to be lived.
I guess it is not that we don´t care as such but that our fears and need for security have the upper hand. As long as we are controlled by our need for security (and comfort) we will have difficulties to cultivate our innate love and care for each other that without any hurt or fear would be our natural way. Getting to the root cause is at least partially a matter of healing our hurts and facing our fears.
The dictionary says refugee means a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.So since when did we stop caring about our fellow men and instead, reduce them to a label and forget about the equal human being that needs our help and support?
I visited a mocked up refugee camp a couple of weeks ago to raise awareness of the status of refugees, at this event I learned that refugees spend on average 17 years in camp, seventeen years, that blew me away. So think, right now there are millions of displaced people living in tents with nowhere to go and little to nothing supporting them and they have years of this to endure. Isn’t that a terrible indictment on us as a global humanity. To have so little regard for our fellow brothers. But in truth we never see them as brothers as we are so bound up in the illusion of our cultures, our religions, our nationality, our race, the wealth we have attained that we wish to consume with. It is all driven by fear but what are we really afraid of, as so often we have our eyes pointing in the wrong direction, trusting the wolf in sheep’s clothing and slaughtering the lambs.
Christopher, you wrote such a great blog with so many great considerations for us all.
Thank you so much. I will put it on Facebook for all to read.
What if the ‘refugees’ became an equal part of our society, as they all truly deserve to be, no longer mirroring the hate and mistrust we project onto them? And in this they could start to feel ‘safe’ again?
How arrogant we are to think that turmoil, war, abuse, famine that occurs in another country is not our problem. Are we not part of one humanity? How is it that we have become so inane to the reality of what is happening around us, and the trouble that we are really in as a humanity, or a civilisation? Ok so we think that if we shut off to the trouble that is occurring in one part of the world, we are immune to the effect this has on us. Or worse that these people are somehow different to us because they live in another country and it is OK for them to live in conditions that we ourselves would say ‘NO’ to, as it is their problem. We need to deeply consider our stance on how we view refugees as that are people the same as us all, how we view our civilization, and the way we address and resolve the problems, the disharmony that arise. For as you have so wisely shared Chris – ‘Every drop, from the tiniest kind word uttered from a place of love to the grandest action, will help the world become a better place for us all to live in, together.’ And this is where we need to begin, with the way we live our own lives first.
“What is truly going on here that in our so called modern age (with all the technology and infrastructure that we have) we have ‘refugees’?” – This really exposes the gaps in our society today. Our ‘intelligence’, if it as ‘intelligent’ as we think it to be, is considerably inconsistent if you look at these gaps under the naked eye. Imagine if we took a microscope to it.
Yesterday I watched a short video filmed by a young girl who had travelled to safety from Sierra, or so she thought. They were put in a boat big enough for 15 people and crammed in 50 women, children and their husbands. You could tell that the children were absolutely terrified as many were crying, then the boat nearly sank and they had to be rescued by the coast guards. At some part of her journey she was robbed by buying a fake ticket to Macedonia, so she tried to cross the border to Macedonia with many others, and was tear gassed. Eventually she had to borrow 7000 euro to get a fake passport and air flight out of the country, and was picked up at the other end where she was registered as a refugee. Now how desperate must you be to have to go through that, and not only as a young women but parents who have small children to look after – we do them an injustice when we automatically think that they want to come to Europe, or anywhere for that matter, and leave their homes.
You raise some great questions Christopher. The state of the world and international relations is always going to be a direct reflection of what is happening on a micro or personal level. When we raise the standard of our relationships, we are in fact contributing to a change on a much larger scale than we often care to appreciate.
When chatting about the ” question ” of refugees I always ask myself and others if they were a refugee how would they like to be treated. Be assured that a lot of the “refugee crisis ” is created by the western counties that make weapons and sell for the purpose of greed profit. Just consider the weapon of land mines and just to name one country as an example Spain makes and sells land mines of course there are many more countries.
So in simple terms the ” refugee ” is not the issue the refugee is the result of the issues we in the western world do not want to look at , as in this example we are content to make devices that kill people . That is how we treat people never mind people who become ” refugees”
It is only when we have a sense of ‘one world – one life’ in its deepest sense will we start to unravel the separation that brings such grief.
As a society we have learnt to live in total comfort, always thinking about self and nothing else so anything that comes in the way of that we attack in order to avoid responsibility and treat each other with respect and equality as true sons of God.
“….. have we forgotten that we are all the same? And that despite our circumstance, no one person is better than another.” In response I would say yes we have forgotten. There is fear that refugees will somehow deprive us of something. Yet so many have gone on to give back to their new home country. It is said that a society can be valued by how it treats its weakest members. Things don’t look good for us in the West then.
The way we view “refugees” is very exposing of where we are at as a society. We’ve categorised them and somehow in that process seem to have stripped them of their humanity. We’re all a part of it. Even if we are not against letting them into our countries, would we let them into our homes? Do we speak up about the fact that our fellow humans are treated the way they are – be it by our own government or theirs? It’s is a global problem.
Part of the fear generated around refugees is fear of the unknown, and particularly the fear that our relative comfort might be disturbed in some way shape or form.
I wonder how much of this starts with family and the way we treat and are within our own family. Do we love and accept our family members unconditionally? Are we there in times of need or is that seen as a burden and a taking up of our time? As a society, if our own homes are not in great loving shape, it can then be super challenging to extend that love and care out to others. Where does it all start and how did we end up in the state we are in where we don’t care for our global, local or blood brothers and sisters? Perhaps it starts with ourselves and the love and care we genuinely, truthfully and honestly show ourselves.