Immigrants, migrants, illegal aliens—-are they the life blood of the human specie, the pulsing life force that keeps the gene pool strong and indomitable, or are they as some politicians might ask you to believe, leaches and parasites?
These are the ones who choose to fight for a better future for themselves and their children——and willing to pay the price for this aspiration. They live in hope, walk by faith, they possess tenacity, they are the ones who refuse to accept things as they are and are willing to stake their life on this often dubious proposition. The weak give up and stay while strong get up and move on.
Ya see, I have a theory. When the weather changed and the crops failed, when wars raged bringing rape and death, when disease ravaged the young and the old, when home became inhospitable, there has always been a hybrid population in the human specie that would forsake all they once knew to seek a better life. Part dreamer, part head strong, part gambler, part self determining, part wild and crazy——these are the qualities that make up a surviver……no, a thriver!
They left the old country behind to seek their freedom. When the dust bowl blew in they packed up their jalopies and families and headed west to California, just like Tom Joad. When they couldn’t earn enough to support their family they swam the Rio Grand with only the shirt on their backs. They took their chances on death boats, trudged across burning desserts, they crowded into stuffy cattle cars and hid in hot trailers. They walked for hundreds of miles carrying their children and their meager belongings on their backs. They fled tyranny, wars, plagues, corrupt leaders, pestilence, droughts, floods, famine and persecution. And once they arrived they often found themselves unwelcome and mistreated.
From Moses to Neil Armstrong, we are a people of tough and courageous stock. Ever since we were kicked out of Eden, we have had to fight, kick and scratch to make a life in this turbulent and changing world. It is these dreamers, explores, adventures, and risk takers, who’s perseverance led them to peek over the horizon and search for a better tomorrow.
I further theorize, that the ones who lacked the vision, strength and fortitude to move on from an inhospitable environment, that these are the ones who’s genes died out. As natural selection has taught us, it is the strong who survive and propagate. Those that migrate aren’t looking for handouts, they are looking for a new start, a place to earn a decent living and a patch of land to call home. These are the people who do some of the most labor intensive jobs. They pick fruits and vegetables in the summer heat, they make beds and clean rooms, they wash dishes and buss tables, they sweep, mop and throw out the garbage, they toil and labor because they see the opportunities that we often take for granted.
Most people flee their home because they seek liberty, safety and a way to earn a living wage. If politicians wanted to prevent individuals from entering their country all they need to do is financially fine the employers who hire these individuals. That would not require the expense or symbolism of building a wall, but our dirty little secret is that this would leave many business in a financial bind.
“All those that wander are not lost.” We are all descendants of gypsies and once seeds in the wind. There is no “us and them”, no borders, no nations, no countries (can you imagine?Lennon reference). These human inventions were designed to create divisiveness. These arbitrary concepts are in flux, but it is the human irrepressible spirit that never changes and forges ever forward.
We are all more alike than different. We all want the same basic necessities. We are stronger by being inclusive rather than exclusive. Tolerance and acceptance breeds diversity. And, diversity is what keeps the human gene pool flexible and agile.
The next time you want to hate on someone who’s an immigrant, a migrant or someone “different” than you, remember that, “there but for fortune go you or I”. The person you are hating may be a father who’s seen his children die from lack of food, water or medicine, or a sister who’s seen her brother tortured and murdered, or a woman who had been raped and beaten. These individuals may be leaving everything behind to escape horrors that you and I can’t comprehend. To be your brothers keeper is an inescapable responsibility we all share.
The universe abhors a vacuum. Lets fill that vacuum with cooperation, empathy and compassion.