Tag: Immigrant

Independence

I must admit, not being a born American, I have always had a problem with July 4th, Independence Day.  I just never quite got the hang of it!  Thanksgiving was much easier.  It was like Christmas only earlier.

However this year it is much more meaningful.  Not because of the food and fireworks, but because of what independence and freedom means. I was not a refugee and I had no language barriers, so for all intents and purposes it should have been an easy transition, right?  Yes, the paperwork and interviews etc. were easy.  But leaving behind family and friends was daunting even for an adventurer like me. Immigration can be quite an isolating experience.

So this year as I witness the cruel and unusual treatment the immigrants are receiving at our borders, I feel ashamed. How could this wonderful country, which opened it arms to me and the people from the other 84 nations that stood next to me at my naturalization ceremony, behave in such a way?  Babies, yes babies, torn away from their mothers and put in cages.  It is truly shocking.  These immigrants are just wanting a better and safe life for their families. They are escaping tyranny and dictators.  A concept hard for the average American to wrap his arms around.

So on this day of independence try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, for just a moment.  Imagine their plight, their heartache and their longing for independence and be grateful for what we have.

Thank you for listening.

Today’s poem is in response to  Word of the Day Challenge – Independence

Independence

Not American born
I come from overseas
An immigrant you would say
With no communicable disease

I am white and English speaking
What could be better than that
I do not look at it that way
I am no aristocrat

The plight of immigrants today
So poor as a church mouse
Treated like animals
Waiting for the slaughter house

They want what we have
There is no villainy
As did your forefathers
They escape the tyranny

If you can be anything
Be thoughtful and kind
It’s the independence they crave
Lady Justice is blind

Christine Bolton

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Integrity – Doing The Right Thing

Integrity – Doing The Right Thing

Integrity is demonstrated on a daily basis by most people, usually unnoticed,  because we believe it is the right thing to do.  However, several stories have been reported recently of people who have demonstrated integrity in extraordinary circumstances. The most recent, and excellent example, was about 22 year old Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant from Mali who saw a toddler hanging from a balcony five stories up an apartment building in Paris.  Without hesitation Gassama scaled the outside of the building, moving from balcony to balcony, and whisked a 4-year-old boy to safety as a crowd below screamed. The Video, Click here , was jaw dropping.  His actions went viral on social media, where he was dubbed “Spider-Man.

In my opinion another display of integrity was that of Emmanuel Macron, President of France, who met with Gassama and offered to begin the naturalization process to make Gassama a French citizen and said, “Because this is an exceptional act … we are obviously, today, going to regularize all your papers.”  He also offered him a job as a firefighter, stating that he had shown the necessary skills required for the job. The President demonstrated his integrity by doing the right thing but he did not let it influence his policy on migrants.

In the US there were at least two recent memorable events where integrity was highlighted.  The two African American gentleman who were astonishingly arrested for trespassing and forcibly removed from from a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, chose not to pursue a lawsuit against the city, Mike Dunn, a spokesman for the city of Philadelphia, told The Washington Post. Instead, they agreed to a symbolic payment of $1 each and asked the city to fund $200,000 for a grant program for high school students aspiring to become entrepreneurs. Wow!

Then there was the other young African American, James Shaw Jr., who fearlessly disarmed a shooter in a Waffle House in Nashville who had already killed four people.  Shaw was eating at the restaurant that night and became an instant hero after he charged the alleged gunman, Travis Reinking, and wrestled the rifle away from him.

“I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” Shaw said after the shooting according to CNN.

He went on to start a GoFundMe account raising more than $230,000.00 for the families of the victims.

These are all fine examples of integrity, doing the right thing, and without any hesitation.  The four gentlemen are tough acts to follow.

Christine Bolton

In response to today’s Word Prompt: Integrity

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