I received a heart wrenching letter from a Ukrainian whose family has moved to Canada as a result of the war. It brought to mind how often immigrants are vilified, especially to serve political purposes, and how wrong we are when we jump to judgment without knowing the whole story.
So, next time you come across someone who can’t speak the language, please know this:
- there is an emotional, intelligent person behind those broken phrases
- while you may see a smile, know that they likely cry quietly into their pillows each night, so as not to alarm other family members, especially the children
- the person they most need to hug may be left behind, or worse, lost in the conflict that brought them here.
- they carry a pride for their nation, for their accomplishments, for their dreams that they cannot share here – so few know about the life they have come from.
- they did not ask for the strife that brought them here.
- it is difficult to have to accept and rely on help from others, but they have no choice
- they are starting life anew from a clean slate, after enormous loss, and this takes incredible courage
- while they are eager to learn all they can to become integrated into this new life; they also have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share
- you could learn a lot from this soul
- they are most likely suffering depression and PTSD
- they need our help
Please be kind. If you can valid my thoughts with an anecdote, please share.
(Image my own)