In my mind, one analogy keeps returning: The world is a stormy place and many countries are like capsized ships where decent people can be found treading water.
As American citizens we don’t always appreciate the rights, freedoms, and privileges we have. Perhaps we never fully appreciate them. Unless we are Native Americans we are, in fact, immigrants or descendants of immigrants. I know you’ve heard this before. However, please focus on the idea that an immigrant is someone who swam from a capsized ship to what appeared to be a rescue boat. A shining light. A beacon. An ideal.
Think about the capsized ship scenario. Some people will drift forever clinging to pieces of the ship. Others will have the initiative and courage it takes to swim away. Initiative and courage are traits we should all aspire to have.
When we speak of Dreamers we are talking about the children of the most recent swimmers. They are in our churches, our schools, working and making positive contributions everywhere. Some contribute more than others, of course, but on average they contribute more good things to our societies than native born American citizens. On average Dreamers achieve more. They make our country better in uncountable ways. There is really no doubt about that.
Dreamers are simply a more recent version of our own history, only without a certain piece of paper. They cannot be lumped together and classified as good or bad. They are essentially us. I submit to you that we are all Dreamers.
The world keeps turning and time cruises along. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow will become history. Is it fair to arbitrarily draw a line and say, “This country is ours because we’ve been here longer.”? I think not.
When you make that statement you are placing yourself in a certain group of people: The people who reach the rescue boat and pull the ladder up behind them because being safe is the culmination of their little universe. I tend to refer to those people as assholes.
When pressed, most of us will admit that we need to choose leaders who are ethically superior enough to give the order to leave the ladder alone. We know there may be a time when a hurricane strikes, or an enemy attacks, and we find ourselves needing a ladder to climb out of a disaster. The ladder should remain available.
Case in point, a hurricane strikes an island devastating everything. A “leader” will send aid and dump it in the center of the island proclaiming, “Look at me. I did a wonderful thing! Too bad that incompetent local government didn’t distribute the aid I sent.” While a real leader of conscience and compassion will understand that every single individual comprising the local government is also a victim of the hurricane. The right thing to do is much, much more than a supply dump followed by a photo op, followed by a ladder removal.
As an American I am truly embarrassed by the actions of our current leadership. The world is watching. The world is actively protesting us. It’s surreal. This is not making America great again by any sociopathic stretch of the imagination.
I’ve heard it said recently that the United States should place the same filtering system on immigrants that many other countries have. You know, follow the crowd. I will argue that greatness does not come from copying others, but by taking risks with those who show courage and initiative.