Empathy and Understanding the Keys to Supporting One Another—

A good friend and I were dining together talking about the plight of immigrants, both documented and not. She said to me you know we have involuntary immigrants here in the United States. Their suffering must be considered first; they didn’t ask to come here and their suffering in slavery was unimaginable. I thought of this and said you are correct those forced to come and then experience a loss of person hood must have their issues more fully addressed but do our immigrants really come by choice or under coercion? If there is overwhelming crime and poverty at home do you come by choice or dire necessity? If you are forced to live in the shadows in the underground economy are you free? We continued to enjoy our meal and each other’s company. I said what of those who fled Europe’s ethnic wars and genocidal pogroms?
In every age in every place humankind’s inhumanity to others can be found in blatant and subtle ways. If we can, it is so important to recognize injustice without invoking competition and pre-judgement. We each have our stories of triumph and suffering to greater or lesser degree. Perhaps this is that which binds us, not separates us and allows us to go forward in the secure knowledge of our common humanity.

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