Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Double Edged Sword

Two friends of mine have differing viewpoints on the refugee crisis, but both are valid.

Friend 1. "Why do people find it so hard to understand that the refugees aren't fleeing their homeland to destroy ours?  They are terrified for their own lives and the lives of their families!  Yes, there's a SMALL chance that there might be terrorists among the families.  There's also a small chance you might be attacked by a shark when you go swimming in the ocean.  In fact, the odds are better for a shark attack than a terrorist attack. ... Would you find yet another excuse to turn them away?  The really sad thing is that the people I see posting [hatred] claim to be Christian!  You CLAIM to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, yet you are doing the exact OPPOSITE of what He would do! ... Why don't we help them because it's the RIGHT THING TO DO?"

Friend 2. "Do you know how many homeless Canadians are sleeping on the ground out in this cold tonight?  How many Canadian children went to bed without dinner tonight? ... My heart bleeds for others, but we have too many in need in our own yard.  My husband's tax money should be feeding his own children, not someone else's.  He works his ass off every day, and yet we are the working poor, being taxed until we might end up homeless too.  How can [Canadians] take care of others if we are unable to care for ourselves?  Are we not setting ourselves up for failure?  How many immigrants were brought here under promises of a better life only to find themselves, also, in despair?  Doctors, nurses, and engineers who were successful in their countries, told that they'd have a job here, who are now taxi drivers, cashiers, and call center agents.  Despite the political rhetoric, we won't do them any favours."

Like Friend #1 I would open my home to a refugee family if I were able.  Like Friend #2 I find it ludicrous to bring skilled people here only to have them unable to work in their fields because of all the bureaucratic red tape they must navigate.

But let's take a closer look.  The people who come here are highly motivated.  They want a safe place for themselves and their families; they will work hard at whatever they can get, and will do jobs that few others will deign to do, to achieve that security.  Anything is better than living in fear and hoping the next bomb doesn't destroy their home.

As far as "stealing jobs", see the above paragraph.  Many young people now, particularly those in college, believe that piece of paper their degree is printed on is a guarantee for getting a job.  Tell you what, grasshoppers, the world owes you nothing.  You have to work to get what you want, even if it means making sandwiches or delivering papers (I did both to put myself through post-secondary education).

If you have a roof over your head, food to eat, and a few friends to hang out with, that's true security.  Nobody should take that for granted.  Look at what those refugees went through and ask yourself what you would do if you faced the same thing.

1 comment:

  1. It is a horrible dilemma. My son posted a joke that said: "Schrodinger's refugee." Somehow stealing your job while mooching off welfare. Damned if they do and damned if they don't.