Answer To The Cries Of The Lost Children
By Nadine JL 24th June 2018
#useyourcalling #innervoice #callingallcreatives #familiesbelongtogether #borderchildren #savethechildren #writing-process #journal
Image source: @JustinTeodoro on Instagram
Last night, I fell prey to that bad habit of checking my Instagram feed just before bed. Saw Glennon Doyle’s post showing a photo of her and Abby on either side of Obama, saying that she was “really missing this leader today.”
Image source: @glennondoyle on Instagram
It was referring to the crisis at the US border, where children have been separated from their asylum-seeking families, thanks to the immigration policy enforced by the Trump administration, in May.
I was confused by the post, in my tired state, last night. I hate to say it, because I love Glennon, but it felt kind of self-promoting and show-offy, more than informative. (And that’s completely aside from the fact that I couldn’t stop wondering how it came to be that Glennon was wearing a strappy camisole and chinos, exposing petite miles of golden-tanned skin, on the same day and in the same weather that Abby was wearing a wool-blend raw-silk suit with collared shirt, buttoned up high enough to please a nun. But anyway.)
However, I once again owe my deepest thanks to Glennon, and to her perhaps imperfect, perhaps confusing post. Because I’ve kind of been ignoring the news lately, and she managed to bring it back to my attention.
And after clicking the hashtag #familiesbelongtogether and finding this post:
￼ Image source: @waylonlewis and @elephantjournal on Instagram
And ones like these:
Image source: @glittergrrl81 on Instagram
My tired heart felt squeezed to the limit.
However, one little piece of good news, later confirmed by the photographer, CBS and Time magazine (links at bottom): this little Honduran girl, snipped from a photo like the one above, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist John Moore for Getty images — this little girl who will feature on the July 2 cover of Time Magazine, was not actually separated from her mother, that night. They were taken into custody together.
And the policy was reversed, thank GUG, yes. But there is so much work yet to be done. Though documents have been signed and policies reversed on paper, at least (and hello, that is major!), in reality these families are not yet back together. Those children…those separated children… I could not stand it. I imagined those confused, anxious, crying, lost little children, in danger of all kinds of abuse and neglect, children just like my own, but not free and not with their families — instead, imprisoned or disappeared and filled with fear of the unknown and the strangeness of being looked upon as a mere object to be dealt with, or processed, or much, much worse. It was 22:30 at night. I was already on the point of exhaustion because of my own silly, insignificant little problems. I had promised myself I’d go to bed “early,” after having stayed up past midnight working on various things the entire past week. There was nothing much I could sensibly do, right then. And that was heartbreaking too.
So all I did, since I could do nothing else at that moment, due to my own limitations, was go upstairs with a pot of herb tea, get into bed, and I just sat there, and sat there, being still and sitting there, my mug warming my hands, grateful for how lucky I was to be have this nice warm bed with a cup of nice warm tea, knowing that my family was safe around me. I sat there thinking and meditating/praying, and trying to make sense of the overwhelm and despair that was flooding my central nervous system… how could I, silly, small little me, do the “next right thing” for these children?
My angel-in-the-tree spoke to me then… one tiny word, it said. The word was, “write.”
It was a tiny word, and the way it came into my consciousness, then, was in small, lowercase print, not even in boldface nor in capital letters.
That’s too simple, I thought, despairingly.
But it made sense, after all. If there was nothing else I was mentally or physically capable of doing, due to whatever limitations, wether inborn or circumstantial, whether real or imagined, there was one thing I could always do. And that was write.
And perhaps that’s what WE ALL must do in these agonizing, heartbreaking situations. We must each do what comes naturally to us, and put that natural ability forward into the world, at the service of the world.
By writing even just a few words here and there, however imperfectly, we can help spread the word. Even if only ONE other person becomes aware of something meaningful because of it, that ONE person may make ONE other person aware of it, and so on, and so on, and so on… until it reaches the people with real power. And soon, we have the mass-marketing effect not-so-subliminally hinted at in that shampoo commercial from the eighties — but for something that is intensely more stimulating and refreshing than hair products. We have something intensely powerful, like a torrential rain on parched land, started with each of us at the individual droplet level. Something that helps CHILDREN.
This is possible. And it has already been done. I am in France, so I include a screenshot from a French magazine, Le Monde, with a quick (and very accurate, I might add) translation from Google Translate underneath:
Image source: Le Monde
“Reversal of situation: In a dramatic turnaround, Donald Trump finally decided to end these separations by signing a presidential decree on Wednesday night. The law stipulates that criminal proceedings will continue to be brought against those who cross the border illegally, but that parents and children will be detained together pending their case.” (Translated from article in [Le Monde]. Links at the bottom.)
We can celebrate that. And be so very grateful for it. But now we move on to the next step in saving these children, whose fate will become a huge symbol of how America as a world superpower, and thus the planet as a whole, will treat those less powerful. As the article continues:
“However, uncertainty remained about the fate of more than 2,300 children and young migrants who have been separated from their parents since early May after their arrest at the border with Mexico.” (Translated from same article.)
So what can we do? That is the burning question.
For someone else, for anyone reading this, the natural ability or drive or calling might be in something else, like IT for example. You could offer IT services to RAICES. Or design some kind of app that makes donating to worthwhile causes easier. Or just share the information to your IT community.
Or perhaps you are an artist. You can make some art about the cause, and put it on your social media feeds. Even if you have zero followers. Someone will see it eventually, if you put in the right hashtags. And that person might be the one to tell another person who has power to make very big changes.
The point is, you have to start somewhere.
And the best place to start is at the service of the world. In any blooming (i.e. hopeful / evolutionary / beautiful/ life-giving) cause whatsoever.
Forget about perfection. Forget about possibly being wrong. Forget about doing the next RIGHT thing, if you are obsessive and neurotic and over-analytical (as I am), and that holds you back. Instead, just do the next THING. And hit publish. Definitely hit publish.
Perhaps it’s not this cause. Perhaps it’s something else. But anything you do with INTENTIONAL SERVICE OF THE WORLD/PLANETARY ECOSYSTEM/UNIVERSE, anything you do from a calling in your heart, with Awareness and Bravery and Creativity and Kindness, and then place directly into the hands of that self-same world/planetary ecosystem/universe, and let the self-same world/planetary ecosystem/universe do with it as it will — well, it can, quite simply, never be wrong.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR CRISIS right now — an article by Michelle Margaret Fajkus for Elephant Journal: “Families Belong Together” https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/06/familiesbelongtogether-what-we-can-do-about-the-crisis-at-the-border/
- Glennon Doyle’s blog, where she helps people through her own non-profit, TogetHer Rising: https://momastery.com/blog/
- Elephant Journal — “It’s about the mindful life”: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/06/children-in-cages-dear-god-what-have-we-become/
- That Fabergé shampoo commercial from the eighties (“and she told two friends, and so on, and so on…”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcskckuosxQ
- CBS article stating that the little girl in the famous photo was not separated from her mother that night: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/border-patrol-agent-involved-dramatic-photo-girl-crying-at-border-speaks-out/, and Time article with edit at the bottom confirming the same: http://time.com/longform/john-moore-getty-photo-separation/?xid=tcoshare
- The (French) article from Le Monde: https://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2018/06/20/des-dons-records-pour-aider-les-enfants-migrants-separes-de-leurs-parents-aux-etats-unis_5318253_3222.html
- RAICES: Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services: https://www.raicestexas.org/
- “Feathered breaths” — from Alela Diane’s song, “Oh My Mama” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qpfiOx42pg&list=RD8qpfiOx42pg&t=6
- Huge thanks to my husband T who is looking after the kids this morning
- Edit 2018-06-25: Today I searched Instagram with the hashtag #borderchildren for a main image for this post, and found this Lady Liberty artwork by Justin Teodoro…. which he’s made into a fundraising pin. He writes, “Excited to share that I have partnered with @thepincause to make this pin AND fundraise for @raicestexas. $2 from each pin will go toward to RAICES Texas to support its legal services for separated families. Please pin-on your support today! #weshouldallcare #Familiesbelongtogether” Click here to order yours: https://pincause.com/products/we-should-all-care. What a great example of creative power in action
- Thank you for reading. :)