After a few days of holidays with my family reality got me back yesterday. In the bus on the way to work. Some prefer their homely car, the fact to listen to their music, having food and drinks and their stuff around. I very much enjoy to share the bus ride with other people, getting into conversations with others, share a smile. It makes the ride and life in general more fun, yesterday was an exception.
I tried to read the news but two ladies sitting across the aisle from me caught my full attention. To the point that I was close to interfere…
Now, one needs to know that with the refugee crisis our country has been pretty spared with voluntary arrivals of refugees. For some reason we are not on the favorite countries’ list of these people running away from war, violence and destruction. But now we need to show solidarity with all the other countries who already welcomed their share of refugees.
And here were these two mid-forties ladies, one of them with a ring on each of her fingers, talking about the refugees that will be arriving in their little town:
“First they said it was only families”, “Now it will be only single men”, “They did not even tell us”, “My daughter does already not dare to go out anymore” (the refugees are not here yet), “I love to go walking along the river, I will be scared from now onwards”, “They get free housing” (they will be lodged in the civil protection shelter in the basement of a school), “It is not fair that we have to welcome and feed them” and I kept the top one for the end “When I grow up, I want to be a refugee”.
I swear I did not invent that, I heard this with my own ears.
Now I agree that the refugee question is a difficult one. With the current economic situation everywhere, the unemployment getting higher, the fear of terrorism and the natural human reaction to protect what is his and the fear of the unknown, I can understand a certain hesitation when it comes to welcoming a crowd of people and all the issues that go with it. It is not an easy task.
But be serious, if people who live in a country where
– their opinion is asked through voting every three months
– the buses and trains are almost always on time
– the paying newspapers are in unsecured boxes counting on the honesty of people to put their coins
– the streets are smooth without any potholes
– the cars stop as soon as a pedestrian approaches a crossing
– you can drink the water directly from the tap
cannot be a minimum generous and understanding, then who can?