For anyone who has been keeping up, you know that I have been struggling a little bit with dilemmas in my own life while trying to stay positive and think of ways that I could help others in need. Recently I had some damage to my roof and needed some work done on it and this has really been putting my mind at a little bit of a stand still.
Trying to at Least Acknowledge
I have been feeling really guilty because I have been spending so much time looking up different companies and not to mention the money I have been spending. Unless I am spending my money on something that is absolutely necessary in my life to survive, I cannot help but feel guilty knowing that there are so many other people around the world who are suffering and could benefit so much more from my money and time.
I at least found a cheaper company at http://www.primarysectorsolutions.com/ which will help save a little bit of money. I have been considering trying a metal roof instead for a while but after feeling so guilty about spending all of my money on something I don’t necessarily need, I decided to have new shingles installed instead.
A huge reason why I decided to do this instead was because I felt like I am simply wasting too much money in many different aspects of my life where it could be used for so much better. I think the attitude many people have is what is the next thing I can buy to make my life better. I have genuinely been trying to catch myself when I have these thoughts and if something isn’t making my life immediately worse or threatening my life, I really try and hold back my spending.
I want to try and see how much money I can save up from having this attitude and maybe eventually donate a portion of it to a cause like helping refugees.
After looking back at my last post in regards to my roofing problem, I wonder if even I would be willing to totally give up the amazing life that I have here in order to help others in need. Let’s face it, we have it absolutely amazing here in America. Although we do face the threat of terror on some level every day, I don’t think it really affects our every day way of life for the most part and when you compare it to the other groups of people around the world who live in fear every second of their days.
Not Enough People
When we sit around and try to think of and offer solutions to what we can do with refugees and others who are in need, I genuinely don’t believe there are enough people around the world who are willing to give up their ways of living in order to try and help others. All of that is considering the fact that any sacrifices we make are at absolutely no guarantee that they will help anyone. There are not many people who are willing to sacrifice and even risk any aspect of their own life in order to try and help others.
Click here to check out the Wikipedia page on refugees and just think about the numbers and severity of challenges so many people around the world face.
I think it is pretty safe to say that there are a lot of things that we here in America spend our time and money on that could probably be better spent else where. I kind of sound and feel like I might be a little bit hypocritical with some of what I am talking about on here but I am at least realistic and honest about everything. Aside from attempting to bring everything to light and trying to get a discussion going, I haven’t been that pro-active as far as trying to help the Syrian refugees like I did with the Roma people many years ago and could probably be using my time and money to help the cause.
Remember how I had shingles basically deteriorating from my roof? Well the problem got worse and even though I have been using my page as a place to make people more appreciative for the things that they have and to not take things for granted, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed and found myself filling up with anger about the whole situation.
While I am worried about finding professional roofers in Bixby, OK and spending a few hundred bucks in repair work, there are thousands of people around the world who are worried about finding their next meal. If any of these poor people knew that I was spending so much time and energy on searching for inexpensive home additions they would be disgusted with me and shocked that I am not thankful for what I have.
I am not asking any of you to change your entire way of living like I have done in my past, but I think just acknowledging what is going on is a huge step in the right direction. Instead of me worrying about not knowing how to replace asphalt on my roof I could be using this time and money to help make life a little bit easier for those less fortunate.
We are all human and take things for granted, but awareness is the first step in solving any problem.
Every time the whole topic about allowing refugees into our country I am asked what I think would be the most viable solution to this problem. I have to be completely honest here and say that I really don’t know or have any real answers for this question. It is very loaded and there is a lot to think about, but I really don’t have a set answer whenever I am asked this question.
Let’s At Least Talk
What I tell these people is that although there isn’t much that anyone can do on their own to help save the world, but I feel better just by bringing the discussion to the table and having people talk about it. For something that is as large of a problem and situation for the whole country with such opposing view points, having an honest and open discussion is one of the most important things that you can do in order to get people talking and aware of what is going on.
In my opinion that is the first and most important step for any real problem that’s going on and really gets the discussion going. If we get enough people at least thinking about some of the horrors that are going on in the world I think it is a huge step in the right direction.
Here is an article that is having exactly that discussion. Although I don’t agree with what they are saying, FOX is at least being open and honest about their opinions on what is going on.
Back during the time when I was working with ECRE, the situation and circumstances that were forcing the Roma people flee to their neighboring European countries were slightly different than what we are seeing the Syrian people have to endure today.
Although they weren’t facing an all out war around them, they were receiving very large and severe amounts of hate from others and were looked down upon as less than human in a lot of cases. Others saw them as dirty, poor, and different and were extremely discriminated against and often killed for no other reason than being “Gypsies.”
Where to Run to?
In the grand scheme of things, the world is not that big of a place. When groups of people like the Syrians and Romas are being oppressed and killed by such large amounts of people around them, they really don’t have many options in regards what to do or where to go.
Think for a second about having to pack up your bags and move to a different country because you, your family, and everyone you know and love are being targeted and killed by the government or mass groups of people around you.
Where would you go? What would you do?
Now imagine that you have been traveling and fleeing for months and have finally reached to where you have been going this whole time. You are excited and relieved to have lived to see this day. But when you finally get there, you are faced with harsh discrimination and hate from the people of that country and are told you cannot live there.
This is what has been going on for years and what is happening now. Where are these people supposed to go?
It is hard to imagine and actually picture yourself being in both the Roma and Syrian people who are seeking homes in other countries. I think a lot of people simply don’t want to know about what is going on and prefer to not acknowledge the atrocities that are going on every day and continue living their lives.
In a very weird way, I can’t help but feel a sense of jealousy to people who feel this way and for very selfish reasons wish I could do the same.
Try to Empathize
Just like taking things for granted, no one likes seeing the misfortunes of others and it isn’t fun for anyone to acknowledge what is going on and actually address what is happening. But this does not change the fact that it is actually happening and for thousands of people this is their life every single day.
I feel that if more people were actually subjected to witness what is happening or to see actual footage of the devastation and destruction that is happening in Syria, more people would understand how urgent this situation has become.
This is why I want to encourage anyone out there reading this to take some time and look at some of the realities that these poor victims are having to face every day and to try and put you and your family in their shoes.
A common theme that I have seen in both my home country, here in America, and all over the world for that matter is that we don’t stop to appreciate the things we have as often as we really should. There are so many things that each and everyone one of us take for granted on a daily basis and it really does unfortunately causes us to lose a bit of perspective, especially in regards to allowing refugees and other cultures into ours.
Be Grateful Every Day
Last week was actually a perfect situation that happened to me which tie in perfectly to people not being grateful for the things they have in their lives.
So I have lived in the same house for the entire duration that I have been living here in America and during this time I have really not really had to spend much money on any kind of home improvements or other things that a lot of others have to deal with. Well that changed last week when I noticed the shingles starting to peel off from a section of the roof on my house.
Now at first, I was very upset because I know that any kind of roof repair or construction work is not cheap and that I was finally going to have to spend some money that I did not want to. Then after sitting back and thinking about a lot of what I have been talking about on here, I realized how insignificant my worries really were and felt ashamed that there are people dying every day and looking for a place to live while I am here moaning about a few hundred dollars.
When we look at the situation surrounding Syria and the refugees that are fleeing to Europe and America, I do understand the fear that is coming over those who are opposed to welcoming these victims with open arms.
We here in America have been very shook since the very horrific and devastating attacks on September 11 and for a lot of people, this is enough to completely justify denying anyone trying to seek a new home in this amazing country.
You cannot be too safe when we are talking about the subject of falling victim to another terrorist attack and many feel that there is the possibility that these terrorists very well may try and enter the United States under the guise of a Syrian refugee. The possibility of just 1 slipping through the cracks is a scary enough thought to close the doors to everybody for a lot of people in this country.
Although I genuinely do understand these concerns and think that they are very valid, I do not feel like they are enough to completely shut out the rest of the world from some of the horrors that are going on. I kind of feel that if we do this, the terrorists are winning a small battle in a sort of way. Their ultimate goal is to destroy us and our way of living, but I think cowering in fear and changing the way we look at others in the world can be counted as a small victory for them.
Now that you have a little background on where I came from and the kind of work I was involved with in my home country, I can start talking about the opposing sides when it comes to the very large and very important debate that is happening around us today.
When we look at the reasons and circumstances surrounding Syrian refugees and the Roma people fleeing their countries of origin and seeking life somewhere else, there are similarities and there are differences in regards to the reasons they are fleeing. Both of them were under very extreme conditions and were/are facing oppression from the people around them and their government.
When we look at what is going on in Syria today, I think the circumstances are a little more extreme than they have been in the past for the Romas and are in greater need of assistance than when I worked for ECRE. There are hundreds of people being slaughtered and these people are fleeing as an absolute desperation to attempt to save their lives.
I really don’t think those who oppose accepting Syrian refugees are aware of the severity of the situation over in Syria and can’t comprehend what these people are having to go through just to survive. These people aren’t coming here to take your jobs, they are coming here to survive.
There seems to be a trend happening more and more often around the world and it is something that people have very strong opinions and feelings for in both directions. Many years ago, I was involved with ECRE (The European Committee on Romani Emancipation) in Brussels, Belgium which was a committee focused on improving the conditions and the immigration of Roma (Gypsies) within the European Union.
There were very strong opinions on both sides of this topic, where many were very welcoming with open arms and would do anything to try and make living conditions the best they could, while others were very opposed to any sort of immigration from them and wanted to do anything they could to try and close off the borders and deny any sort of help to these poor people.
I am no longer a part of the great organization that is ECRE and currently live in the United States. I think the work I did in the past with helping Roma immigrants is relevant now because of the Syrian Refuge debate that is going on here in America and is a big reason I decided to create this page again.
Although the situations and reasons for the immigration from Roma in the past and the Syrian Refuges today are very different, I still hold my position that we should be welcoming these poor people with open arms and those who oppose these practices have not seen some of the horror that I have.