It’s often said that to know what it’s like to be someone else you have to walk a mile in his or her shoes. In other words, put yourself in their place.

This prompted me to think about what it must be like to be a refugee fleeing from people wanting to kill you as those in Syria and other Middle East countries are currently facing.

Many European countries have opened and recently slammed the door on those who are leaving their homelands because of war or political or religious persecution.

Germany for one greatly underestimated the numbers and the costs that accompany the thousands of refugees showing up on their doorstep.

What If America Disappeared?

What if there were an overthrow of the government by some religious group that had no problem killing me for my beliefs.

Sitting in a tent city maybe in Canada or Mexico, (Hopefully Canada) waiting to find out where my new home will be since my current one is gone.

If I were headed to a Middle Eastern country what would I be facing? A language barrier, a culture change, new customs, differences in the value and use of money, and perhaps lack of a sellable skill?

Contribution To Society

My American values would dictate that I become a productive addition to whatever society I entered. Would I be welcomed? Discriminated against? Would I be expected to hide my beliefs for fear they might be misunderstood in my new homeland?

Would I feel the need to covert to a religion I might not agree with just to stay alive or be accepted into society?

Would there ever be any chance I could return to my homeland? How long before I give up?

Some Final Thoughts

Immigrants from many places around the world have molded our United States society. The big difference is that people came to this country mostly by choice but there were also many fleeing some injustice. But still here by choice.

They came here to be Americans. To learn the language and to take advantage of all the opportunities America had to offer.

Getting off the ship at Ellis Island there was no Social Security, no welfare, no school lunch programs, and no food stamps. Nothing to draw them here as opposed to any other country on earth other than an opportunity for success or in many cases failure. But they were willing to risk that to come here.

You either made it or you didn’t. You needed a sponsor to be responsible for you until you could become a productive member of society on your own.

No one knows how this displaced population will affect their eventual landing spot. They may assimilate or they may not due to their forced placement.

I guess it all depends on how desperate you are as to what you will or won’t do to survive.

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