Today I woke up and saw a picture of a Syrian toddler’s body washed up on the Turkey coast. He was about 2 years old. It looked like he was just sleeping on the sand, butt up in the air like my little ones. He was fully dressed and at peace. I cannot stop staring at that picture and cry. Like a lot of people, I am guilty of being nonchalant about the crisis in Syria. Millions of citizens fled their country in hope of a more peaceful life. Hundreds of thousands died in that quest. It was just peace that they sought, not money. His family boarded a small boat that capsized and took his brother and mother with him. His father was found and hospitalized. Now his “dream is gone”. His life is gone.
About 30 years ago, my family and neighbors boarded a boat. Ours did not capsized but it was robbed by Thailand pirates multiple times. I thought they lacked intellect as they were robbing the same people more than twice, in the same water on the same boat, only days apart. We were left to drift on the open waters of Indochina. Then we were rescued and placed in a refugee camp. The rest is history.
Today I could not have asked for a better life. My dreams came true. Now I have goals for my children. Children that are about the same age as that little boy on the beach. Our stories started out the same but ended differently. I cannot imagine losing any of my kids, much less not being able to save them. His mother was blessed to be able to go with him and not have to witness and suffer the cruelty of living without him. Unfortunately, his father has to do that alone. There are many private organizations out there trying to help the refugees on boats. I read about Doctors Without Borders having their own boat with food and life vests to share. A lot of government is crying foul with immigration problem. They forget the human aspect of immigrants seeking asylum. Many successful countries are built on the back of immigrants. The beauty of California is diversity. We have one of everything. We are a very successful state, known to be the mecca for technology, food culinary, fashion forward trends, entertainments, and so much more. We have millions of immigrants. I’m one of them.
I pray that the toddler’s lifeless body will remind the world’s government that these are human beings just seeking peace. Let’s try to honor his short time here on Earth with just being kind to our fellow travelers. Don’t turn your back on immigration. It is not the problem, the governing body is. Human life is being wasted away as each awaits for permission to seek asylum. Step up, #UNICEF! Step up, #UNHCR! Step up, #USA!