There is Room In This Big Tent

Forgive me this once, for getting a little political. Or perhaps it is not political at all, but human. This Muslim ban business over the weekend has really held my attention. Honestly, I hardly slept last night. I am reading accounts of citizens holding green cards, unable to get home to their children and animal companions, their jobs, their homes. I am reading accounts of judges issuing emergency orders to prevent this, only to have those orders ignored. I am reading accounts of senators and attorneys staying in airport security all night, demanding that innocent citizens be released and allowed to return to their lives. I am reading about countless rallies and demonstrations across the country and beyond, many with mayors, governors and state representatives in attendance. This morning I am reading strongly worded statements coming out of Washington by our representatives, denouncing this act. Suddenly, they are not Dems or Republicans, they are Americans.

 

Last week a mosque burned to the ground. The LDS church next door opened their doors and offered space to the Muslim community to pray until their building is replaced. Right there, in a room meant to teach little ones about Jesus, are rows of Muslim men, on their knees, praying to their god. Incredible and courageous. They LDS community had to blast through their fear of something they don’t understand or even agree with, in order to make a generous and decent offer. The Muslims praying in that church will never forget the kindness that has been offered to them. It is an example that we must all take to heart right now.

 

I have noticed some memes floating around, asking Americans why they care so much about immigrants when we have a homelessness and poverty issue in our country that is not being addressed to the fullest. I agree. We have homeless veterans, homeless families, and hungry children. It has to change. They thing is, it is okay to care about both. We have to stop buying into the “either/or” rhetoric that has been sold to us. We can show constant compassion for ALL who are suffering, and we can certainly spread our efforts around. The only way we can offer true change it is to unite and work together.

 

A few years ago, when the Seattle Seahawks had the strongest defense in the NFL, their coach said that they practiced “ball first” strategies. All plays revolved around the ball, all players gravitated to the ball. It worked. They were unstoppable. At this point, we must develop a “Compassion First” strategy. Every single one us, regardless of the country that we live in, our economic status, or our political beliefs, must start looking at the world through compassion colored lenses. We do have enough. There is enough wealth, enough food, enough land and enough grace in the US to take care of everyone who is suffering. We have been sold a different story. We have been led to believe that we should fear what we don’t know. We have been encouraged to assume the worst of those who are suffering the most. It is time to do more ourselves, expect more from our political leaders and stop getting distracted by our differences.

 

We are unifying right now, and breaking down party lines. Democrats and Republicans are suddenly under one umbrella, standing up for humanity. It is refreshing. It is needed. This is the time for us to lay down our hammers, to stop pointing fingers and start locking elbows. I don’t care who you voted for or even who you supported last Tuesday. I will join you, heart to heart, human to human, to stand up for what is right. There is room in this big tent for everyone. We can agree to disagree. We can show great love and courage for all of those who need our help. We can capitalize on the things that we are all concerned about and get to work. For all people. For humanity.  

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Kristy (Wednesday, 01 February 2017 05:07)

    Amen Katie!

  • #2

    Joan Porter (Friday, 03 February 2017 06:17)

    Katie
    I too have been disturbed and discombobulated by the actions of our government towards immigrants. I have also been uplifted by the responses from groups of citizens across this beautiful country, some of which you highlighted. May I tell you about an event that unfolded tonight in Brooklyn - where I lived as a young mother many years ago,

    Today the Yemeni business owners in Brooklyn closed their shops at Noon to stage a non-violent protest against Pres, Trump's ban on immigration from 7 Islamic countries, One thousand small businesses participated. Men gathered in the streets of downtown Brooklyn kneeling in prayer to begin the protest,

    Let me offer you a quote from our local coverage :

    This order goes against everything we came here for and everything America stands for,” said Abdul Salam Mubaraz, a bodega owner who had closed his shop for the day and spoke from the stage. For people fleeing war-torn countries like Yemen, he said, the restrictions amounted to “having the door of freedom shut by President Trump.”

    You may think Trump;s order has nothing to do with you, but are you so sure? Think about your neighbors, local shopkeeps, teachers, librarians, police officers, nail technicians, hairdressers, chiropractors, massage therapists, the doctors, nurses, therapists and CNAs at your nearby nursing homes and hospitals. Are you so sure that no one you know has been affected?. Are you so sure this has nothing to do with you?
    My heart is broken, my spirit shaken, but I am renewed by those who have had the courage to stand strong. May I too find ways to show that courage in the days to come

    Joan Porter
    Hyde Park, NY

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