Live like a refugee.
If tomorrow your property, your belongings, your titles and degrees and career are stripped away from you, don’t cling to that which is lost. Have the courage to leave the rubble and strike out into the unknown.
There will be barriers, physical, mental, cultural. Believe in your capacity to overcome them.
You will face both contempt and pity. Recognize that they are two sides of the same coin, one that sees you as lesser. You are not lesser. You are equal and deserve to be treated as such.
You have skills, aspirations and talents beyond what the world sees. Don’t let yourself be stuffed into somebody else’s preconception of who you are.
Above all, live. Live in defiance of chaos, of rigidity, of hate, of death. Live with love and laughter, for they contain and control tragedy. Live and help others to live. Live in the knowledge that those who place themselves above you are made of the same flesh and blood and they will return to the same dirt as all of us.
I don’t want to trivialize the plight of refugees around the world, but often when we focus on that plight, or on the problems of migration, we lose sight of individual faces, their courage and sacrifice and compassion and humor and intelligence. We forget that they are us, and if we listen, we can learn from them.
When we forget that people are people, it allows terrible things to be done to them… to us. We’ve had quite enough of that. Let us love and celebrate OUR people: ALL people.