The article discusses what it truly means to be a refugee, the struggle they face and the life they have been pushed into.
Lonely. Lost. Hungry. Heartbroken. All those feelings combined and more lay deep within a refugee’s soul. We know they feel this way, we hear about it, we read it on the news and watch it through viral videos. But what does it really mean to be a refugee? Can the rest of us ever really wrap our heads around what their situation is like?
We have reached a time where when we hear that one person, or two million people have been displaced we say a little prayer for them, sometimes donate some of our clothes and money and then we move on with our lives. I was one of those people, until a 58-year-old man sitting across from me put his hands on his face and sobbed with pain and despair in the middle of telling me his story. He cried for his children that he was afraid for, he cried for his house and neighborhood that he left behind, he cried for a country he grew up in that was gone and he cried, for the brother that died in his arms while he watched without any way of saving him. “I was a business owner, a strong father and husband, a man who gave back to his community, his country, but today, I am only one thing, I am a Refugee.”
I listened to him through his tears while he told me how his life once was and how it all went crashing down. How he had to do things he was not proud of to get his wife and children to safety. He told me how it felt to carry a weapon with the fear that he would have to use it to save his family and he told me that despite the fact that they now possessed nothing, he is still grateful for the safety he now lives in.
Imagine a life, where you are constantly looking over your shoulder, when you don’t know if you will have food for your next meal, where you are filled with joy when you receive another person’s used clothes and even though they don’t fit you right, you still wear them. A life, that four million Syrians today have the unfortunate fate of enduring. Joined by Palestinians, Iraqi’s, Afghani’s and others from all kinds of disrupted places. These refugees are just like you and me, they have dreams and hopes, things they want to have, people they want to love and be loved back by. The only difference is that we own a precious blessing that is safety and security while they are destined, because of actions beyond their control, to wander this planet till they find a second home.
Our purpose, as humans, is to prove that humanity still exists. Donate, give, pray and feel for these people. Try to imagine what it is like to live in their shoes, so you can appreciate and cherish your own life. Take initiative and volunteer in any one of the many organizations that help, as long as they are in our minds, as long as our intention is to help in any way we possibly can, perhaps our humanity will help ease their suffering and hopefully help them find what they are looking for.