Undoubtedly, retired seniors (as I myself) have known,, within their lifetime and that of their forefathers, that both small and large groups of displaced persons (in various parts of our planet) have had to hurriedly leave their homes and settlements, in order to survive.
Such persons, along with their families, have experienced tremendous destructive forces, resulting in the numerous deaths and mass migrations in search of either temporary and/or permanent resettlements. Sorry to say, too many of us, who are, possibly, mostly bystanders, could be again thinking and feeling that what is now “moving” us, and, I suspect, millions of others, to anger, frustration, and tears, will become another historical human failure of vivid , frightful consequences troubling our consciences.
History reveals that the Middle East’s problems have been around, in various forms, for many decades—-back into the centuries. Needless-to-say, there appears to be no simple, quick resolution to its current difficulties. No doubt, there are all sorts of suggestive opinions. I should like to share with you the following 2 thoughts which, I believe, are directly related to the Middle East conflicts and the resulting current Refugee Crisis:
1. The recent, shameful, heart-breaking scene of a drowned 3 year old, little boy, washed up on a beach, was a reminder, at least for me, of Jesus Christ hanging, abandoned on a cross. After more than 2000 years, therefore, I ask myself:
(a) How far have we come in ‘Loving our neighbor as ourselves’?
(b) How many times does Christ have to die, in order to awaken us to the realization that we are One people upon One earth?
As far as I am concerned, we have to love and care for one another, immaterial of the artificial labels of religion and nation which we place on one another, and magnify through our prejudicial (religious), patriotic (nationalistic) lens. Failing to “love our neighbor”, results in the breeding of conflicts and the increasing of destructive, burdensome refugee crises, as we are currently experiencing.
2. The thought, formation and development of (a) Religions and (b) Nations were (and are) natural evolutionary institutions intending (thoughtfully or thoughtlessly) to control and to secure humanity as we moved towards what we believe (or like to think) now as essential civilized societies, for which some , if not most, of us are willing to argue and to die. Although we may be pleased and even rightfully proud of our various individual and collective achievements and advancements within our personal lives and, in general, our human societies , to what extent, if at all, are we aware that we may well be imprisoning ourselves within both our individual selves and our communities-at -large?
For instance, our respective recognized religions usually provide us with moralistic beliefs (rules, “rights”, etc), and a faith for groups of persons (individually and collectively) to abide by on earth and, possibly, a hope (at least for many) beyond; and, similarly, nations claim sections of our planet’s surface and establish laws (rules,, “rights”, etc) to keep humans orderly and, trustfully, safe and secure from potential forces within and outside their respective “borders”.
However, it needs to be understood and respected that our planet is a place for life, including human life. Any person born is, and remains, alive due to Earth’s resources and the activities of other persons. It is, therefore, especially noteworthy that no matter where a person is born and lives on Earth, each and every one of us have the natural “right” to an inhabitable place on our planet, providing our presence here does not deny the equal, natural right of others. In other words, we need to be thoughtfully and emotionally concerned when we see our fellow humans desperately on the move, away from zones of destruction and death, in search of a new home, to enable themselves and their families, and others in the same plight, to find a spot on Earth where they can survive and develop. Consequently, our Religions and our Nations must be inclusive and not prejudicial, patriotic Barriers of Separation for us all——both the settled and the unsettled, the refugees.
Gerard (Gerry) Feltham