Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Focus: Migration

 April 13, 2021

Los Angeles, California

2018 campaign led by DACA and Undocu youth

The people are referred to as "migrants" and the phenomenon is "migration."  Where can people go when the political, social, economic, and environmental conditions begin to crumble?

A deep lesson arises out of a compassionate and loving heart:  be open, stay open;  be kind, stay kind.  A pastor in a poor canyon, a young person seeking to be educated, a parent searching for safety for children.  These are the beings who animate the phenomenon of migration, in all its complexity.  

And, we are living in a time when complexity challenges human societies.  Two years ago, the Journey to Justice bike ride invited undocumented and DACA-mented to ride the stretch of the west coast of this continent on bicycles.  They wanted to see for themselves:  Who is America and are we really not wanted?  What am I made of and how far will I go - literally and figuratively?  Is there hope for humanity?  The ride was the concrete example of great courage, determination, and faith -- all of which are needed in order to bring about great change.

The inspiration to serve, and the intention to be of service has no pre-requisites, other than to realize one's humanity.  The generosity of spirit, once felt, opens the way.  To do the work or support a way for healthy migration to take place is the call.  And the need to engage is great because this phenomenon will not end soon.

Our earth is very clearly telling humanity to wake up to the fact that she is running a fever.  Alaska's recent revelation that the Muldrow Glacier has moved 100 times faster than normal in what is called a "surge" event, along with known phenomenon of rising waters, acidification of the ocean, extreme weather events globally, and more - has caused younger generation activists to organize and connect our behaviors to the risks of losing our being.

Societies across the globe have given voice to leaders who do not seem to recognize the urgency of finding ways to engage in dipolomacy rather than derision.  The dominance of global corporate interests long ago eclipsed to drive for globat citizenship interestss.  The structures built to serve a global infastructure do not accommodate the imagination of a world in which caring for the well-being of humanity can be considered.  

The anti-dote to the threats require what the pastors, the young riders who journeyed for justice, and their supporters are saying, "We are all connected in a way that is beyond language, nationality, religion, and so much more than what divides humanity in today's world."  

The solutions are calling on all leaders to exercise a quality that is anti-thetical to politics and that is realizing that we must return to, and appreciate the power of"humility.".  

Migration (and all the suffering that happens when conditions become untenable at home) is the concrete illustration of what happens when we fail in our humility.  

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Gift of Compassion and the Migration Support Project

March 25, 2021 in Los Angeles

A family that has travelled far, from Honduras to Mexico to California - in search of security and safety from violence:  a mother and her boys reach Los Angeles at last.  They await the asylum hearing that was initially sought some 18 months ago.

The world of human migration has changed so much since the phenomenon was first identified as part of the factors changing the health of the entire planet.  While climate change has created concerns about the destruction of the natural world in which we live;  human decisions have created another kind of destruction.  That is, the loss of "home" due to threats of violence and the taking of human lives - even of children, in some parts of our planet.  The migration of human beings is being driven out of necessity, not just a desire for what has historically been referred to as "a pursuit of the American dream.".

The Migrant Support Project began as a piece of work to sustain a small church in a very poor valley known as Scorpion Canyon.  And it has become the temporary home of 200-300 refugees seeking respite from terrorism, drought, starvation from places like Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.  Children are born there;  and families are separated as some decide to explore at least one person making it to safety with a plan to bring others while some give up and make different plans.

Gift of Compassion moved to compassion in action in 2019, building a way to support one pastor whose heart is infinitely open and trusting that those who arrive at his sanctuary can be cared for and given hope.  Today, the ask is to join the Gift of Compassion, and to share your generosity of spirit with people who are wanting to be contributing and productive members of a society that is changing here, and across the globe.  There is hope, no matter what else may be happening in our world today.  You can see it in the faces of those who persist, and insist that humanity still finds a way.