Like others around the world, I see images of refugees fleeing Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries and I feel a profound feeling of loss.  I can’t help but wonder what is happening to our humanity.   We keep tearing each other apart because of our differences, and as a result, we have waves of human migration we are unprepared to handle.

nytimes.com
nytimes.com

Have we not seen photos like this many times before?  Have we not read about such migrations for hundreds of years?  Have we not yet become sick of wars based on religious, cultural, class, and political differences?

I don’t have any solutions.  Like others I watch, read, listen and wring my hands.  If one is a refugee, how does one persevere?  If one lives in a country where refugees are passing through or where they aspire to live, how does one find the resources to deal with so many people?  How are needed logistics worked out to house, feed, clothe, employ, and educate these masses?  How will people shield their hearts against resentment to help foreigners, when in fact there are the homeless and lost within so many of our own neighborhoods?

And I am not so naive to think that this just happened because things are crappy “over there.”  Things are crappy over there because U.S. political and military “invasions” added fire to a region gripped with religious, cultural, and political differences for centuries.  So we go in, make some messes, and we leave.  Sort of.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

These refugees have suffered an incredible loss of homes, schools, communities, and personal dignity.  They are scavenging now for shreds of humanity.  My heart goes out to them all, and to those preparing to assist as many as they can.

I have to believe that in general we are a pretty decent species.  Most of us try.  Most of us hold in our hearts a sense of compassion taught by our families, our communities, and our various religions.

There are so many logistics needed to deal with this human tragedy, but I believe an important logistic is hope.  We cannot say, “We can’t.”   We must say, “We will.”  We have to…for the future civility of humanity…for the children who look at the cameras and show us what hope looks like.

  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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