To Immigrants, With Love

Flickr / Freedom House
Flickr / Freedom House

What if I asked you the cost of a home?

Not a house, not four walls, not a palace, not even a shelter, just a place that doesn’t eat you up, that doesn’t put a knife through your spine for calling it your own.

What is the cost of such a home?

These homes are exchanged, not for money but for lives. Families are ripped to shreds because their home is the inside of a volcano that can’t help but burn them to ashes.

This is the world that we live in, now. This is the state that has befallen us. This is what we have become. This is how lines on a map have divided us. And slowly, we ourselves have become the divide that separates human from human, life from life.

I am not here to write about why people are migrating from their homelands. We know about the reasons. I am but here to remind us that standing in the face of adversity, standing at the mouth of destruction, it is us humans who have to help ourselves, our kind, our own people.

It is us who have to understand that no one flees from their home and tries to seek shelter in a foreign land unless their homes are raging forest fires, unless their homelands are lifeless graveyards that consume them from the inside.

This is not a sermon. I am not here to preach about what is right and what is not. These are one of those things that every individual needs to realise by themselves and grow from, there on. We aren’t talking about people from another country infiltrating ours and stealing our jobs, our money and our lives. Instead we are talking about human beings, born and bred in a land no different from that we call our own, human beings who have lost their right to exist where they used to through no fault of their own, human beings who share families no different from ours, human beings who share the same red beneath their skin as we do.

Imagine yourself stranded in a land where war-torn skies were the only theme and gunfire the only music. Imagine your father telling you that you might not see him again because staying together would increase the chances of death. Imagine your child being washed away while you tried to flee after being rejected entry into a country only because you didn’t have a passport.

Remember Alan Kurdi, the little boy whose corpse floated onto a beach and yelled at the entire world for being careless enough to let that happen?

It is a sorry state of affairs if the decaying body of a three-year-old is what is needed for us to wake us to our reality.

Are we still humans, now that we don’t want to allow homeless innocents into our land because we think they will pollute our skies with change and treachery?
Who are we to decide?
Who are we to declare that this land is ours and not theirs?
What are geographical borders if we are so divided from the inside?
And how in any state of mind, can we humans, profound and brilliant, allow this to happen?

The world is a not a fairy tale adventure. It has issues. Issues that we have created and we have to destroy, ourselves. We humans though, have become too self-centered. This age has us chasing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. At this time, we have to be brave and positive. We have to heal people through love and compassion. We are in this together and no war or religion separates us.

And in the name of our faith, in the name of humanity and in the name of all that we seek comfort in, we must help our fellow beings because by the end, they are all that we have.

And beyond that, there is nothing. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Sayan Sen is a 19-year-old from Kolkata, India, with a deep affection for puns and football.

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