Immigrant Neighborhood edenpictures www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/11183757215/
“SEND THESE, THE HOMELESS, TEMPEST-TOSSED TO ME…”
Inscription on the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor
In New York harbor stands our Statue of Liberty. Her right hand is held high with a torch to light the path of immigrants coming to our shores.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
My maternal grandparents came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s welcomed by Lady Liberty. We are a country of settlers yet roughly 47% of us favor a BAN on MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS while others favor deportation, and the construction of a wall to KEEP MEXICANS OUT.
We are a generous, abundant country whose people have had open hearts to those in need. Worldwide, there are 65 million refugees fleeing war in their countries. A fraction of them apply to enter the US through organizations like Oxfam, but these and other programs have been placed on pause. (After a three-month delay, refugees have to start the long process from the beginning.) Oxfam has a meticulous vetting program that takes two years for applicants to apply and resettle. What has happened to us? Where is our compassion?
F E A R happened! I ask these questions because fear is blaring and glaring. F E A R is a monstrosity reminding me of the H U L K who bursts into rage and turns green. His fable is a prime example of what I know: that fear grows if it is not healed.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, thousands of Japanese Americans were ‘resettled’ into camps during World War II. The US government, afraid of their “threat to national security,” confiscated their property. In retrospect these law-abiding citizens were not a risk. America was their home! This weekend I saw a photo of a Japanese woman holding a sign that read: “Never again.” Are we generous Americans going to let this happen again…to Muslims and Mexicans?
My family represents immigrants from Italy, Russia, Romania, Korea, El Salvator,
Assyria, Ireland, Germany and Austria. Let us remember their bravery: they traveled to a new country to find a life of freedom and justice. Isn’t this the American tradition?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s look at that! If we take in his wisdom we would choose to heal the anxiety in our own heart. Yes, the distress that lurks inside. This takes personal courage. It’s never easy to look within and take responsibility for causes, but the process removes the shadow of trepidation from our relationships and worldview. Once healed, we can see more clearly that there is strength in UNITY. We can put this knowledge into action to support the efforts of our neighbors rather than isolate ourselves. We don’t have to huddle in worry!
We can celebrate in kinship. We don’t have to isolate and build walls. We can depend on smart immigration strategies, which have sustained us for years…
With an open heart, we can demonstrate strength, love and unity with our neighbors and make national and global decisions accordingly. We all gain. With an open heart we can see the consequences of our actions when we move from apprehension to alignment with our higher capabilities. We can shift to a holistic perspective when we heal fear in the heart. This is what love allows…we realize that we need each other in a global world, just as we need neighbors on our street, in our community…
Inner change leads to outer change and this movement can lead to change in the collective. Let’s follow the light of P E A C E…
Love allows peace to emerge – both internally and out in the world. P E A C E is juicy.
P E A C E is sensual. Copy that!!!
In love and light,
PS: I would love to hear your thoughts on my essay. You can reach me privately at
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