So I want to write about something relevant.
When bad things happen, one of the first things I hear people saying is: "I don't understand." For example. "I don't understand why anyone would do that." "I don't understand why so many people had to die." "He was so young, it doesn't make any sense."
"I just don't get it."
My answer is always: "Good. You're not supposed to."
Let me say this slowly and clearly:
We are not supposed to understand evil.
I would be scared to live in a world where we did.
There is darkness in all of us that is locked away, never meant to engulf. It's a warning. A forbidding inkling, an unopened door. Just the thought of it...scares us. At least, it scares me. That darkness exists so that we may recognize what darkness is and therefore be able to fight it. Therefore be able to say: "You are not who I am." That doesn't mean we're to understand why it sometimes wins.
So I don't understand what's going on in Syria. I don't understand why infants are being wrapped in blankets, gone. Thousands of innocents mowed down what seems to be every day.
I feel so helpless. I can't sleep.
But we need to do everything in our power to let that grief drive us. We can't invite those at risk into the safety of our homes. We can't neutralize the chemicals with USPS-delivered vials of medicine. We can't even shut the light switch of the world off and wait for the gunfire to be swallowed in a supernova. But, either directly or indirectly, here are four small ways you can help those heartbroken in Syria. From where you are right now.
A few months ago, I met a brave young man who fled from the turmoil in Egypt to live in America, having learned almost no English and trying to be true to his culture, religion, and fatherhood in a completely alien land. We encounter accents, mocha skin, and outlandish religious ornaments every day. It could be our next door neighbor, the cashier ringing us up, or the passenger next to us on the subway. Instead of Plexiglass-window silence, disarm them. Look directly in their eyes and ask a question about their homeland, their experience living here, or simply give a compliment. After a heartfelt, friendly chat, I always say, "It is an honor to have you in our country." Because it is. I, for one, am honored to be the citizen of a country which, for many, is their one true hope.
How does this help the victims in Syria?
At the very least, it makes that hope a reality. They ARE welcome here. The dream IS an actuality. For refugees and immigrants alike.
Whether this involves outreach programs, domestic security, or threats to injustice and inequality (even in your community), having a say and participating in government is a privilege to be called a right. The best way to protect freedom is to be active and educated in the practice of it. I am so proud that my Grandpa, a retired Admiral in the U.S. Navy, exercises his right to freedom of speech all the time by writing his Congressman about matters he finds vital; he's not afraid of his voice not being heard. And neither should we.
This, again, will join the effort of bringing positivity out of negativity, and financial, physical, and timely sacrifices are all good ways to keep those affected in your thoughts and a part of your actions. As troubling as it is to have open eyes towards the horrors that go on in the world, sure thousands of which we are unaware of, it is our responsibility to empathize in all that we do, every movement we make, rather than close our eyes.
4) If you believe in prayer, do it.
We need to thirst for a better Earth, we need to parch for it, enough to have the initiative to do it. As one human in a world of billions, I choose to manifest my love here, my commitment to our race, in these very words, for those who are suffering, near and far. May my hands and yours be galleons in carrying them, one day, to safety.
Stay thirsty, my friends.
Shea C. Megale